Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
If you’ve finally decided to get with the times and sign up to a music streaming service, you’ll first need to determine which service is right for you. The four most significant players are Spotify, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, and Apple Music.
Assuming you pick Spotify, you’ll have another choice to make: are you going to stick with the free version or sign up for Spotify Premium? It’s not an easy decision to make, as both tiers have pros and cons.
In this article, I’m going to make your choice a little clearer. So if you’re not sure which Spotify service is right for you, keep reading.
How Much Is Spotify Premium?
This is probably the most important question. If you don’t see value in the Premium price, there’s no point in continuing to read this article.
A basic Spotify Premium plan for one user is $9.99 per month. A family plan costs $14.99 per month.
The two price points put Spotify Premium in direct competition with other music streaming services. Google Play Music and Apple Music both charge exactly the same for their individual and family plans, whereas Amazon Music is $7.99 for Prime members and $9.99 for non-Prime members.
Who Can Join a Spotify Family Plan?
Spotify’s Family Plan has taken several iterations since it first launched in 2014.
Originally, the price scaled up depending how many users were on the plan. Today, it’s a flat $14.99 for up to six users (including yourself).
Sadly, according to Spotify’s terms and conditions, there are some restrictions on who can join a Family Plan. Technically, every user who’s connected to the plan needs to live in the same physical address.
In practice, Spotify doesn’t seem particularly interested in enforcing the rules, but that might change in the future. At the most, the company will ask you to confirm your ZIP code.
What Is the Spotify Student Discount?
Many people aren’t aware, but there’s actually a third Spotify Premium payment plan. Unfortunately, it’s only available to students. This discount gives students 50 percent off the price of a standard Premium subscription and access to Hulu’s streaming library.
To be eligible for a student discount, you need to be enrolled at a US Title IV accredited institution located in the United States. Spotify takes a strict approach to approving student discounts. It could ask for various documents from your college to prove your eligibility.
You can only use the student discount for a maximum of four years, and it cannot be used in conjunction with a Family Plan.
Where Is Spotify Premium Available?
Spotify is available in 61 countries around the world. That covers all of North America, all of South America (with the exception of Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname), the majority of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and some of Southeast Asia.
In every country where Spotify is available, Spotify Premium is also available.
Spotify’s total of 61 countries puts it below Apple Music (113 countries) and Google Play Music (63) in terms of availability.
Why Is Spotify Premium Better Than Spotify Free?
OK, so the price is reasonable, and the service is available in your area. But why should you upgrade?
As you’d expect, Spotify Premium offers several features that aren’t available in the free version of the app. Here are some of the most noteworthy:
- Ad-free listening: Who wants to segue from a rock anthem like “Highway to Hell” straight into an advert for a microwave? Ads are jarring and dilute the music experience.
- Offline listening: Premium users can download up to 3,333 songs on three devices (for a theoretical total of 9,999 songs). As long as your device goes online once every 30 days, the downloaded songs can be listened to whenever you don’t have a web connection.
- New releases: Artists can withhold their new songs from Spotify Free for up to two weeks.
- Music quality: Free listeners can only listen to music at 160Kbps. Premium subscribers have access to 320Kbps, which is virtually indistinguishable from CD quality.
- Skip tracks: On Spotify Premium, you can skip as many songs as you want. On the free tier, you’re limited to six skips per hour.
Other parts of the two plans remain the same. For example, you can still only add 10,000 songs to your library (though there are workarounds) and you’ll have access to the same selection of music discovery tools.
How Do You Cancel Spotify Premium?
You can only cancel your Premium subscription through the Spotify web portal. It is not possible to stop your payments using one of the mobile or smart TV apps.
To cancel your subscription, just follow the simple step-by-step instructions below:
- Navigate to spotify.com/us/account and enter your login credentials.
- In the panel on the left-hand side of the screen, click Subscription.
- Below Premium for Family, click Change or Cancel.
- On the next screen, choose Cancel Premium.
- Select Ok, Cancel on the confirmation screen.
What Happens When You Cancel Spotify Premium?
The answer depends on where you are in your billing cycle. Spotify does not issue refunds for partially-used months.
Instead, you will retain your Premium benefits until the end of the current cycle. At that point, you plan will revert to the free tier. You will not lose access to your playlists, libraries, and other data.
If you cancel a Family Plan, all the members will retain a Spotify account but will be dropped down to the free tier. Ownership of a Family Plan cannot be transferred. If the owner of the Family Plan wants to cancel their plan, you will need to make a new plan with someone else as the administrator.
Do You Have Any More Questions?
In this article, we have tried to answer the most common questions people ask about Spotify Premium. Hopefully, you’re now more informed and better able to make a decision about whether the service is right for you.
What else do you want to know about Spotify Premium? Leave your questions in the comments below!