I’ve been using Zune since v1. I like the interface and subscription plan. I was excited when I first heard about Spotify because it was $5 less per month than Zune and the interface is very light and easy to use.
Zune dropped their monthly subscription fee to $10/month, which is the same as the Spotify premium monthly fee.
Now that price isn’t a factor I had to consider other factors.
Spotify allows you to connect with Facebook friends and post what you are listening to and see what your friends are listening to. I immediately disabled this feature because I don��t want to spam my wall with what I’m listening to and I don’t have much interest in what my friends are listening to.
Winner: Zune if you don’t want Facebook integration, Spotify if you do.
Windows Phone 7 Application
The Spotify model of using tags and playlists doesn’t work for me and that is the model that the Spotify Windows Phone 7 app uses by default. When you first launch the app you see “tagged” and playlists. The most common scenario for me is to play music by artist. The only way to do this with Spotify is to create a playlist for each artist. I don’t have time to do that. With Zune the first page is great, music, podcasts, videos, etc. I simply choose music then select the artist I want to listen to.
I also tried the Spotify auto shuffle mode, but was not happy with the variation in song selection.
Files on Disk
Spotify is primarily a streaming music service and it locally encrypts audio files for offline play – there is no way to access the files directly. Zune streams as well, but also allows you to download WMA files. I’m a musician and I often use an application to slow music down so I can transcribe it. This is possible with Zune, but not with Spotify. I could purchase MP3s from Spotify to have a file on disk, but why would I do that when Zune gives it to me as part of the monthly subscription fee?
I use the Zune desktop application to browse and sync all media on my phone. Spotify is only about music. I’d rather manage all my media from one application than go to Spotify for music and Zune for everything else.
I’m also a heavy podcast user. Zune allows me to manage podcasts, Spotify does not.
With all of these things considered I see no advantage to using Spotify over Zune Marketplace.
Hope this helps,