Updated · Mar 28, 2023
How Much is Spotify? [Spotify Pricing Explained in Detail]
Updated · Oct 13, 2022
Nowadays, the music industry is all about streaming. And Spotify is at the forefront of it all.
As the largest streaming service in the world, it boasts over 182 million active subscribers. So even if you don’t have an account yourself, surely, you know someone who does.
Do you want to get in on the party?
Then you probably have questions. How much is Spotify? What kind of content does it have? Is there a free option?
We are going to answer all of those and more in this article. Let’s go:
How Much is Spotify?
Spotify itself is divided into two categories—free and Premium.
However, the latter has a bunch of subgroups, which you’ll definitely want to know about.
In most cases, the Individual plan for Spotify Premium is what you will want to go for. This is one subscription for one account, paid monthly.
This one costs $9.99 per month. It gives you all the perks of Spotify Premium, like no advertisements, offline playing, and higher quality.
In case you have someone else to share your subscription with, the Duo plan is then the perfect option. This is one single Spotify Premium cost with all the perks of a regular plan. Ideal for couples or families.
Spotify Premium Duo is $12.99 monthly for two accounts.
Do you want to share a Premium membership with your family or group of friends? Then the Family tier is for you. It supports up to six accounts and gives you a ton of extra perks.
The Family tier costs $15.99 a month.
Aside from the usual Premium features, this also gives you the option to block explicit music. Lastly, you will gain access to Spotify Kids—a special version of the app for younger ages.
Finally, there is a special Spotify monthly cost for all university students. To be eligible for the Student plan, you must verify your enrollment status. This happens by entering your name and university details, which Spotify then uses to check school records.
The Student tier costs $4.99 per month for one account.
Aside from the usual Premium features, it also comes with plans for Hulu and SHOWTIME.
Free vs. Premium Spotify
By now, you’re likely wondering—why upgrade to a Premium account at all? Spotify has a free version, after all. So why shouldn’t you just cancel your subscription and save those $10?
We’ll tell you why.
Free vs. paid Spotify differs on many levels. The free plan is perfectly functional but deliberately limited to pushing you towards a Premium subscription. Let’s go over each aspect of the service and see how it’s affected.
Music Library and Curated Content
Regardless of your chosen plan, you have access to Spotify’s entire music library. The same goes for podcasts.
Spotify also offers curated playlists for its listeners. These are various hand-picked selections of tracks from specific genres, time periods, or artists. Free users can access the most popular songs and playlists just as much as Premium ones can.
If you’re an audiophile, you will definitely want to take a look at the Spotify pricing plans. Why?
Because music quality is substantially better for Premium accounts.
That doesn’t mean the standard audio quality is unlistenable. In fact, many likely won’t notice a difference.
However, the free version of the app can only go up to 160kbit/s in quality. Meanwhile, Spotify Premium can sound twice as good, up to 320kbit/s.
Now, what about podcasts?
They remain unaffected, regardless of which plan you’re on.
Ads and Playback Controls
The most noticeable difference between free vs. paid Spotify is in the advertisements.
With the free plan, you occasionally get audio advertisements in between songs. These can get quite distracting if you’ve immersed yourself in a playlist or an album.
But with Premium, these distractions go away.
You can binge as many albums as you want without encountering any ads at all.
Playback options also vary wildly between plans.
Free Spotify users are only able to play songs via Shuffle. That means the order of the songs will be randomized, and you get no control over what song plays next. Furthermore, you get a limited number of song skips per hour. This makes for a pretty limited listening experience.
A subscription gets rid of all these limitations. You are free to play any song you want, in any order you like.
It must be impossible to get through a train or a plane ride without some tunes, right?
A Spotify membership cost allows you to listen to all of your music library without being connected to the internet. But how is this possible?
You see, whenever you navigate to a playlist or an album, you have the option to download it. This will make it available to listen to at any time, even while offline.
It’s a good idea to always have a few playlists saved on your phone. You never know when you might be stuck without any mobile data or Wi-Fi!
Spotify Premium has a number of cool social features that many people will find neat.
The platform lets you search for and add your friends. From there, you can see the kind of music they listen to, their playlists and favorite songs. You can even see their current listening activity if they have enabled that feature.
Is a Spotify fee worth paying just for this?
Probably not. But it definitely makes for a more interesting and connected experience.
Perhaps the biggest reason why Spotify is so popular is how accessible it is.
It’s available for pretty much any device. The app is compatible with any phone running iOS 13 or Android 5 and above. Meanwhile, the desktop app is available for computers running Windows 7 and OS X 10.13 and up.
And, of course, there’s the web player, which can be accessed through any popular internet browser.
This compatibility list remains the same regardless if you’re running a free or a Premium account. You do not have to pay anything just to access the platform.
Apple Music vs. Spotify Premium
It’s time to take a look at Spotify’s most direct competitor—Apple Music. As the name suggests, this is Apple’s own streaming service. In many ways, it shares lots of design features and functionality with Spotify.
So if you had to choose between the two, which one should you go for?
Both platforms' pricing models are pretty much identical, with minor exceptions.
Both cost $9.99 a month. However, Apple Music does not offer a free tier. This is an exclusively Spotify thing.
Furthermore, Apple Music also has various plans for families and students.
The difference here, however, is that the family plan costs a dollar less than Spotify’s. Meanwhile, the Student plan is one dollar more expensive.
If music quality is of the utmost importance to you, Apple Music is the obvious choice here.
It offers a lossless audio quality of up to 24-bit/192kHz. This is substantially higher than even Spotify’s highest setting.
Now, Spotify has announced a so-called HiFi tier, which will offer CD-quality sound. But as of September 2022, this tier has yet to be released.
So when it comes to Apple Music vs. Spotify Premium, the former is definitively better for sound quality.
Which of the two has the more extensive music library?
At first glance, it might seem like the two are fairly identical. But that’s not really the case. Apple Music claims it has over 90 million songs in its library, while Spotify features about 82 million.
This makes Apple Music the winner, with over 10% more songs than its competitor.
That being said, the two libraries are still very similar and have significant overlap. Chances are, most songs you listen to will be available on both platforms.
Earlier, we discussed how Spotify’s accessibility makes it so popular.
Is that the case for Apple Music, also?
Apple Music is available for a vast range of devices, almost as wide as Spotify. From Android to iOS (of course), to Windows and other laptops and desktops.
The end result is two different apps that are available for almost every device you can think of.
Like it or not, Spotify is here to stay.
There is a reason it is at the forefront of music streaming right now. And that’s due to its ease of use and low price. Your typical Spotify monthly cost likely won’t exceed $10, and for that, you get millions of songs and playlists.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone.
If you prioritize lossless audio, you might instead want to turn your head towards its competitor, Apple Music. Or wait until Spotify HiFi comes out.
But for most cases, Spotify is a fantastic deal, no doubt.
Is Spotify free?
Spotify does have a free tier; however, it comes with lots of limitations and advertisements. If you don’t want anything to do with that, you can upgrade to Premium.
What is Spotify Premium?
Spotify Premium is a monthly subscription that gives you total freedom over the way you listen. It also removes all advertisements from the app. How much is Spotify Premium? For individuals, it’s $9.99 a month, although families and students are eligible for discounts.
Is Spotify Premium worth it?
With over 80 million songs, ad-free listening, and high-quality audio, Premium is definitely worth it. There are hundreds of millions of Spotify subscribers worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great deal for any music lover.
How to upgrade to Spotify Premium?
Simply log into your Spotify account, click Your Plan, and then Change Plan. There you will see the various options for upgrading.
My fascination with technology began from quite an early age thanks to computers and video games. Nowadays, I love anything related to music production and astronomy. Coincidentally (or is it?), both of those have a great deal to do with tech. Honestly, most of the stuff that can be accomplished with modern electronics kind of seems like magic to me. This is why I feel this strong need to constantly learn more about it and talk about it, almost to the detriment of others.
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