Spotify vs. Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon recently launched Cloud Drive, a web storage service that includes a music streaming application called Cloud Player. Many tech sites talk about Cloud Drive as being a direct competitor to Spotify, since both offer music services for a fee. I’m not convinced this is a fair comparison though: sure they both let you stream music, but Cloud Drive’s model is unit-driven (upload/purchase a track) with the cost determined by storage space, whereas Spotify’s model is access-based: with Spotify, you pay for on-demand access to their catalog of music. Still, if you were wondering how they stacked up, read on for a comparison of features!



So, for the same annual cost you can store around 51,000 MP3s on Amazon’s Cloud Drive, or have on-demand access to over 13 million tracks on Spotify. Factor in all the additional features on Spotify, the hassle of uploading your collection to Cloud Drive, the mobile platform availability and it seems to be a no-brainer. The old complaint that “Spotify doesn’t have Pink Floyd/Arcade Fire etc.” doesn’t apply, since both players let you play your local music purchases. Fundamentally these are two different business models though, so perhaps this comparison is a little unfair. I know where I’d rather spend my dollars though….



  • Estimated annual subscription to Spotify Premium USA = $200/year (based on current UK prices converted to dollars). For the same amount, you can rent 200GB of storage space on Cloud Drive.
  • Typical song length = 4 minutes. Typical 4-minute MP3 encoded at 160kbps = 4 MB. With 200 GB of storage, this lets you store around 51,200 tracks on Cloud Drive.
  • This is all very well but if your assuming an average track length of 4m
    It’s only possible to listen to 131487 tracks per year, that’s if you never sleep

  • haha good point, I hadn’t thought of it like that! 😉

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  • Kafka In Water

    Amazon has a $20 / YEAR deal right now for UNLIMITED mp3 storage….with the benefit that you can re-download the tracks at anytime.  For someone who wants to archive their music and has particularly esoteric music habits, it is a steal.  I’ll use spotify for streaming music I don’t have I suppose but $20 / year is just ridiculous for unlimited storage.

  • Yow

    Thanks for the tip.

    When you click to play from an iPhone, how long does it take for the song to start playing? Spotify is almost instantaneous; I’m sure Amazon cloud locker will take a little while longer, but I’m wondering just how long will you really have to wait.

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