Which Spotify Subscription Is Best for You?
There are a range of Spotify subscription plans available to suit a variety of circumstances and budgets. There’s the free version, of course, plus a range of different paid options.
The music streaming service was one of the first to offer a free ad-supported tier alongside a fully-featured premium account. And now it offers a number of different subscriptions.
In this article, we’ll explain what each Spotify subscription offers, how much they cost, and help you decide which one is best for you.
What Is Spotify Free?
When you sign up for Spotify, you’ll be placed on the Spotify Free subscription tier by default. As the name suggests, this is a free account, so you don’t need to pay anything to use the music streaming service. However, it is feature limited compared to the paid-for Spotify subscription plans.
This account is ad-supported, so short audio and video advertisements play between tracks. The frequency of ads is based on your location and platform, but they are typically included after a handful of songs. More often than not, these are the company’s own ads encouraging you to sign up for Spotify Premium.
You can only shuffle playlists, albums, or artists rather than listening to them in your chosen order, and can only skip up to six tracks per hour. You do have access to the service’s personalized Daily Mix playlists, although the same restrictions apply. However, if you use Spotify Desktop rather than the iOS or Android mobile app, you get a little more flexibility on which songs to listen to and when.
As playlists are central to the streaming service, you’ll want to keep them organized, too. So, be sure to check out our tips to manage your Spotify playlists .
The free account has access to the service’s 50 million tracks and more than 700,000 podcasts, but the audio is limited to a bitrate of 160kbps on desktop and 96kbps on mobile devices. Similar restrictions apply to offline playback and downloads—you must be online to listen to music on Spotify Free.
What Is Spotify Premium?
Spotify Premium is the umbrella term for all paid-for Spotify subscriptions. This account unlocks all of the music streaming service’s features and removes ads. Restrictions on playback are removed, and you can download up to 10,000 tracks to listen to offline.
The audio bitrate is also bumped up to 320kbps. If you’re tempted to start paying for Spotify, check out our article discussing whether Spotify Premium is worth its premium price .
There are several Spotify Premium subscription plans with varying prices and use cases. Most plans allow you to make savings by including multiple users on a single subscription.
Spotify Premium Individual
Spotify Premium Individual is the standard premium subscription. This plan costs $9.99/month and gives you full access to Spotify’s features. Alongside the increased bitrate and ad-free experience, you also can listen to tracks in any order on desktop and mobile.
With a Premium account, you can listen while abroad, skip as many tracks as you’d like, and listen offline. In addition to the benefits listed above, you can control Spotify playback on smart speakers, streaming sticks, and smart TVs via Spotify Connect.
This feature also enables seamless playback across devices. So, if you’re listening on mobile, you can pick up where you left off on your desktop.
Spotify Premium Duo
If two people in the same household use Spotify, you can purchase a Premium Duo subscription. For $12.99/month, two users can share a Premium membership while using their own accounts to listen to music. This is ideal if you have different musical tastes or prefer to listen to music separately.
However, this combined subscription comes with a Duo Mix playlist based on both of your interests. So, rather than arguing about who gets to listen to music on the speaker, you can put on the Duo Mix and enjoy tracks you both like. The Duo subscription also includes all other Premium features and benefits.
Spotify Premium Family
Using Spotify Premium Family, up to six members of the household can share a Spotify Premium subscription for just $14.99/month. This is a significant saving on the standard Premium plan.
Like with Premium Duo, each user retains their own account, music library, and personalized playlists. However, the streaming service also creates a Family Mix playlist based on all of your shared musical interests. As this is a family plan, there are also options to block explicit lyrics and content.
This plan comes with access to the Spotify Kids music streaming service , which is suitable for children up to 12 years old. The simplified app features a hand-picked selection of music, singalongs, and audiobooks for younger listeners. That’s alongside bedtime stories, lullabies, and calming sounds.
Spotify Premium Student
It’s no secret that going to college is expensive. Keeping track of your expenses is crucial, and minimizing outgoings makes your money go further. Spotify offers the discounted Premium Student plan to help you out. For just $4.99/month, you get full access to Spotify Premium for up to four years.
Alongside that, Premium Student also grants you access to an ad-supported edition of Hulu and use of SHOWTIME at no extra cost. To qualify for this discounted offering, you’ll need to upload proof of enrollment during the sign-up process.
Spotify Premium With Headspace
Many people have taken up meditation thanks to the popular mobile app Headspace. To make the most of the service, you need a premium subscription. However, subscriptions can quickly build up, especially if you use other premium streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime as well.
With that in mind, Spotify and Headspace have teamed up to offer the Spotify Premium with Headspace plan. This combines the two premium subscriptions into a single discounted payment of $14.99/month. While this saves you some money, you’ll still need to use the Spotify and Headspace apps separately.
Choose the Best Spotify Subscription for Your Needs
Spotify has a range of music streaming subscription accounts to suit every need and budget. Some of these accounts save you money on multiple subscriptions, while also offering extra features like shared playlists, downloadable music, and offline playback.
Choosing which Spotify subscription is right for you means looking at the various options and picking the one which fits your needs the best. If you want the full Spotify experience you’re going to have to pay, so it’s then just a case of saving as much money as possible.
And of course, Spotify is far from the only streaming music service available. So if you’re interested in one of the alternatives, check out our comparison of Spotify vs. YouTube Music .
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