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How to Reduce Mobile Data Usage When Streaming Music

Dan Helyer Updated 18-06-2020

If you’re on a limited data plan, there are quite a few tricks you can use to keep your mobile data usage under control. One of the worst culprits are music streaming apps. However, by using the instructions below, you can keep that to a minimum too.

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To make sure your music streaming app uses the least amount of mobile data possible, you need to change the audio quality on your streaming app of choice. If you know you’re running low on data at the end of the month, you can also set streaming to Wi-Fi only.

Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Spotify

With a premium Spotify account, you can save playlists for offline listening. But if you aren’t sure whether Spotify Premium is worth it Is Spotify Premium Worth Its Premium Price? Is Spotify Premium worth its premium price? Discover what Premium offers and whether you should upgrade from Spotify Free. Read More , you can still adjust the bitrate when streaming music to reduce data usage instead.

Tap the Settings button (which looks like a cog), then go to Music Quality and select Low under the Streaming section. Your music will play at a bitrate of around 24 kbit/s, compared to Normal at 96 kbit/s and High at 160 kbit/s.

You can also turn off the option to Download Using Cellular so that your phone only downloads music when it’s connected to Wi-Fi.

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Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Google Play Music

Open Google Play Music and tap the Home button. Then open the menu in the top-left corner, go to Settings, and scroll to the Streaming & downloading section. Open the Mobile networks stream quality option and select Low.

Under the Streaming & downloading section, you can also toggle on the feature to Cache during playback, which means your phone saves a song for a short time after you play it. That way it doesn’t use any data to play that song multiple times.

If you don’t want to use any mobile data streaming music at all, turn on the option to Stream via Wi-Fi only. You should also enable to option to Download only on Wi-Fi.

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Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Amazon Music

Amazon Music does use your data, but it doesn’t tell you what the specific bitrate is so it’s hard to say how much it uses. However, you can still choose a Data Saver option to reduce Amazon Music’s data usage.

Tap the Three Dots () in the top-right corner to open the menu and go to Settings > Streaming Audio Quality. Under the Mobile Data section, select Data Saver. This reduces your data usage when streaming music from Amazon.

If you don’t want to download music over cellular data either, go back to the Settings and tap Download Audio Quality. Then turn on the option to Download only on Wi-Fi.

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Reduce Mobile Data Usage on YouTube Music

YouTube Music lets you stream music and watch music videos at the same time. With a premium subscription, you can download music offline or listen to music while your device is locked. YouTube Music only lets you change the streaming quality with a premium subscription.

Tap the Home button, then tap on the Profile icon in the top-right corner. Go to Settings > Playback and restrictions. Change the Audio quality on mobile data to Low. You can also choose to stop loading music videos, which could reduce data usage a lot, by turning on the Don’t play music videos option.

You might need to change the settings in the YouTube app as well if you find yourself gravitating to that instead of the YouTube Music app. Tap your profile picture to pull up the menu, then go to Settings and make sure that Play HD on Wi-Fi only is toggled on.

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Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Apple Music

Apple Music doesn’t give listeners control over playback quality, but you can disable mobile data usage for streaming or downloads. The method is slightly different for iPhone and Android devices.

On an iPhone, open the Settings app and go to Music > Cellular Data.

On an Android device, open Apple Music and then tap the Three Dots () in the top-right corner.

Turn off Cellular Data to stop using Apple Music with your cellular data entirely. Or leave it on and turn off the Streaming option. You can also turn off Downloads, so that Apple Music only uses mobile data to update your library and artwork.

Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Pandora

When you listen to Pandora for free or with a Pandora Plus account you can choose between Standard and High Quality audio. However, a Pandora Premium account gives you more control over your data usage with Low, Standard, and High options.

Pandora explains how much data each of theses options uses on its website. Low quality streams music at 32 kbit/s, Standard streams at 64 kbit/s, and High streams at 192 kbit/s.

To change your data usage when streaming music, open Pandora and tap the Profile button, then go to Settings > Advanced. Under Cell Network Audio Quality, disable the High quality audio option.

If you have a premium subscription, go to Audio Quality and Downloads and choose the Low audio quality.

Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Deezer

A premium Deezer subscription unlocks high-quality audio, but even without premium you can reduce your data usage by streaming lower-quality music than standard. To do so, open the Deezer app and go to the Favorites tab.

Tap the Settings icon in the top-right corner, then go to Audio settings. Under the Audio Quality heading, tap the Custom option to create custom settings. Then change both Streaming over Mobile Network and Download over Mobile Network to Basic, which streams music at 64 kbit/s.

Back in the Settings, you should also disable the option to Download over mobile network.

Reduce Mobile Data Usage on Tidal

Tidal is one of the best music streaming services for audiophiles The 7 Best Music Streaming Services for Audiophiles Audiophiles can be a fussy bunch. However, these music streaming services for audiophiles should keep you happy. Read More . This means it can wreak havoc on your data usage. Although there’s no low-quality option in Tidal, you can revert to standard bitrates to reduce your mobile data usage.

To do so, open the Tidal app and go to the My Collection tab. Tap the Settings button in the top-right corner, then scroll down to the Quality section. Under Streaming, change the Cellular quality to Normal. Then go back to the settings and turn off the option to Download over Cellular.

Other Ways to Reduce Mobile Data Usage

Streaming music is often one of the biggest sources of mobile data usage. Using the tips above to reduce the audio quality on your favorite music streaming service can go a long way to bringing down your data usage.

If you still use too much mobile data each month, you might need to look at other apps on your device. Perhaps social media is to blame or maybe it’s down to a cloud-based photo library. Take a look at our list of useful tips to reduce mobile data usage 8 Useful Tips to Reduce Mobile Data Usage and Save Money Want to get the most out of your mobile data plan? These apps and tricks can help you squeeze out every last megabyte. Read More to find out how to fix your issues.

Related topics: Apple Music, Data Usage, Google Play, Google Play Music, Pandora, Smartphone Tips, Spotify, Streaming Music, YouTube Music.

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