Spotify might have changed the way we listen to music, but the various mobile carriers—especially in the United States and Canada—have been slow to adapt the plans they offer to accommodate the shift.
While the rest of the world increasingly moves towards unlimited data plans, data caps remain common in North America. This has forced many people to think about how much data services like Spotify eat through every month. Let’s take a closer look.
How Much Data Does Spotify Use?
How much data Spotify uses while streaming depends on the music quality setting you have chosen. There are three settings to choose from: Normal, High, and Extreme. You can change the setting by opening Spotify and going to Settings > Music Quality > Streaming.
On the Normal setting, a three-minute song will use about 2MB of data. On high, that jumps to 3.5MB, and on Extreme it goes as high as 7.5MB.
On an hourly basis, that translates to 40MB, 70MB, and 150MB, respectively.
Extrapolating that data out further, if you listen to Spotify for an average of 30 minutes a day, you can expect to use 0.5GB in a month on Normal and 2.2GB on Extreme. If you listen to one hour of streamed music, it increases to 1.2GB and 4.5GB. And if you listen to two hours, you’ll need 2.4GB or 9GB respectively.
Lastly, it’s worth noting those figures are significantly more data-friendly than listening to music through YouTube. One hour of music video streaming on the lowest video quality will still eat through 100MB.
Remember, you can download Spotify songs for offline listening. You’re limited to 3,333 songs per device on a maximum of three devices.
To download a song or playlist for offline listening, navigate to its listing in the Spotify app and slide the download toggle into the On position.