Maximizing Your Spotify Experience: Premium vs. Free

Spotify offers a free tier and a paid tier called a Premium plan or account. Spotify boasts a sleek interface, social features, and a vast catalog of music and podcasts. The Swedish audio streaming service has expanded to 183 markets, becoming the top music streaming service in the world. 

As of the fourth quarter of 2021, Spotify had 226 million free listeners and 180 million premium subscribers. That is a whopping 406 million active monthly users. They have unquestionably changed the way the world listens to music in the past decade. 

The stats reveal that over 50% of the active users are on a free plan. Does that mean you can get by with the free tier?

Is Spotify Premium worth its premium price? 

Spotify premium is worth the price because you avoid adverts and can save songs offline. Offline content is a great feature if you are using Spotify on mobile with a limited data plan.

You could get away with a Spotify free account on desktop and tablet. 

Is Spotify Premium worth $10 a month?

Spotify Premium plan costs $10 per month.

They charge your card after a 30-day billing cycle exactly a month after you started your paid subscription. There are no offers or coupons but some Premium plans (Premium Family or Duo) can result in a discounted rate for an individual. 

At $10 a month, Spotify Premium is a great bargain as it gives you access to over 82 million tracks and 3.6 million podcast titles. Premium users can download music for offline listening and get access to Spotify Radio, on-demand listening, and an ad-free listening experience.

You can listen to your favorite songs with improved sound quality without shuffle from any device or platform. We believe Spotify Premium is worth the $10 you pay for a monthly subscription.

Here are the top five reasons in more detail: 

Benefit #1 – Offline listening

Offline listening mode is one of the main benefits of getting a Spotify Premium account. It allows you to download songs to your device that you can listen to any time, anywhere. You can download individual tracks, albums, or playlists for offline listening. 

  • However, Spotify Premium users do not own the downloaded music.

It is stored as cache files that run in the Spotify client. You lose access to music downloaded from Spotify if you do not connect the app to the server at least once in 30 days.

You also lose access to downloaded content after the end of the billing cycle when you cancel your Premium subscription. 

Benefit #2: High-quality streaming 

Spotify Premium is undoubtedly worth the $10 a month if you love listening to music at 320 kbps on mobile. That is the best compression rate for high-quality streaming. If you want to save cellular data, you can also switch to Low (24 kbps), Normal (96 kbps), or High (160 kbps). 

Spotify free only offers High and Normal on mobile. Only Premium users can adjust audio settings. Moreover, they can save settings for offline content and streaming independently. 

Benefit #3: No audio or visual ads on Spotify Premium

Spotify Premium members are not subjected to any audio or visual ads. Free members have to put up with repeated ads. You cannot skip them and they can get annoying.

With Premium, you do not see any ads (audio or visual) at all. So, Spotify Premium is worth it if you do not want an audio spot to ruin the flow of your favorite track(s). 

Benefit #4: Save music locally (save data on mobile)

Spotify free works great for desktops but going the Premium route may make more sense on mobile (iOS and Android). We say this because the Spotify app will not let you skip songs more than six times an hour or save music locally with a free account. 

The latter can be annoying if you want to play through an album straight. Moreover, not being able to download songs or save music locally can be rough if you have a limited data plan. It may be wiser to pay the monthly subscription than pay extra for data. 

Benefit #5: Spotify Connect

Spotify Connect is a feature that allows you to use one device – typically your mobile phone – as a remote control to stream music across multiple devices on the same Wi-Fi network. You can stream music on your PS4, laptop, and music system while using your mobile as a remote.

Spotify Connect with Premium allows you to stream at a bit rate up to 320 kbps. It is great for gamers, party music, or just transitioning between a phone and laptop. Plus, you do not run down the phone battery as it only serves as a remote control. 

You can check the list of compatible devices here

Spotify Premium vs. Spotify Free: Which is better for you?

Spotify Free is an unpaid way to access Spotify’s music collection.

You get access to all the content in the free tier. However, a Spotify free account is an ad-based version. Moreover, it lacks premium features like downloading songs to your device for offline listening.

Both Spotify Premium and Free users need to first sign up for a Spotify account. You can sign up with a Facebook account. Free and Premium users can access Spotify using an app for PC, tablet, or mobile. Spotify also has a Web Player that works across platforms. 

The interface for the web player is identical to the app. You can use it in an office, library, or any place where you cannot download the Spotify client. 

On desktop, the free version allows you to play any track, album, or playlist. Features include Data Saver mode, viewing what contacts or friends are listening to, and sharing songs. Mobile users cannot follow friends, listen to the radio, or watch videos. 

On mobile, Spotify Free users can only listen to songs on Shuffle mode (iPhone and Android). Spotify free only allows you to skip six times per hour in Shuffle mode, which can be annoying. Desktop and tablet users can enjoy on-demand access i.e. play a playlist without shuffling. 

That means mobile Spotify free users are stuck with ads and will not be able to listen to a playlist or album straight through. Premium users can choose songs on-demand, download songs for offline listening, add local files, watch videos, and listen to Spotify Radio on all platforms. 

In our opinion, Premium is well worth the cash based on the list of desirable features on offer. You can watch this video to get a second opinion on the topic: 

Is Spotify premium better than Apple Music?

Spotify is better than Apple Music if you enjoy its intelligent song suggestion algorithm and social features. Apple Music is a better choice for audiophiles and Apple enthusiasts. Apple Music scores better on high-resolution audio streaming and automatic synchronization across Apple devices. 

Both Apple Music and Spotify have over 50 million songs in their catalog. They both have a silo of podcasts. Although some podcasts are exclusive to each streaming platform. Let us take a brief dive into which of these audio streaming services would be better for you. 

Why Apple Music may be better than Spotify for you

Apple Music is a better choice if you own Apple devices. It has the same design language and will synchronize across Apple devices. You can stay within the familiar UI and use Siri Support. Apple Music may be better than Spotify Premium for you if you use one or more Apple devices. 

Both streaming services cost the same, but Apple Music has a free 3-month trial and three plans – The individual plan ($9.99), Student Plan ($4.99), and Family Plan ($14.99 for 6 people from the same household). You can also opt for the Apple One bundle clubbed with other Apple services.

Why Spotify Premium might be better than Apple Music for you

Spotify has a massive collection of podcasts and music. It has lucrative features like collaborative playlists and a powerful music recommendation algorithm. Lastly, Spotify boasts cross-compatibility and can work equally well on Apple devices

Spotify has a three-month free trial and four monthly subscription plans – Premium Individual ($9.99), Premium Duo ($12.99), Premium Student ($4.99), and Premium Family ($15.99). The trial period and monthly subscription rates vary based on the country/region.   

How long is a Spotify premium contract?

The Spotify Premium contract period is 30 days at a time. It is a rolling monthly subscription and can be canceled at any point within the billing cycle without being billed for future months. The Premium plan is paid in advance (pre-paid period) on the same date you signed up.

For instance, you will be charged $9.99 for a Premium Individual plan on 5 March if you started using the paid services on 4 March. Your card is charged for the upcoming month i.e. 5 March to 5 April.

If you cancel your Premium subscription before the billing date (April 5), you will be reverted to a free plan and not be charged for the next month. 

You can read Spotify’s Terms and Conditions for Premium plans on their website. 


Hopefully, this information helped you discover the difference between Spotify’s free and premium tiers. We have laid out solid reasons when and why it makes sense to upgrade to Spotify Premium. Whether you upgrade or not depends on how much value you find in it. 

We (and other readers) would love to know your opinion and experience with Spotify. Do you feel Spotify Premium is worth it? Did you sign up for Spotify Premium from another country using a VPN? Let us know in the comments.

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