If you’re a music fan, chances are you know what Spotify is.
Whether you like rap, rock, electronic, or you’re on the hunt for a great focus music playlist, Spotify has over 40 million songs you can listen to.
Ever since its burst onto the scene, the service has claimed one of the top spots in the streaming landscape. According to The Verge, Spotify now has a total of 217 million monthly active users worldwide, including free subscribers. That’s a lot of people that love to use the platform.
There’s a pretty sizable split between diehard Spotify users and diehard Apple Music users, but no matter which streaming platform you ultimately choose, you should know how much a subscription costs and what perks come along with it.
How much is Spotify Premium?
A Spotify Premium subscription costs $9.99 a month, with student and family plans for $4.99 and $14.99 respectively.
In this article, we’ll walk through the differences between the different subscription tiers and hopefully help you decide if Premium is worth it for you.
There’s nothing worse than incessant advertising interrupting the flow of your day. The same thing goes for ads interrupting your playlist groove.
No one likes waiting for ads to finish so they can get back to their music, but we all know that nothing great ever comes easy. To be able to use Spotify for free, there’s a price. Time.
The Spotify free tier
At the end of the day, you never really have to pay for Spotify at all. Spotify’s free tier is completely free (shocker!) but comes with a few restrictions.
What is Spotify’s free tier?
By downloading Spotify to your smartphone or desktop computer, you won’t automatically have to pay a monthly subscription fee. You can spend your entire life using the free tier. So what comes with it?
With Spotify’s free tier, you can listen to 40 million songs (minus certain recent releases for up to two weeks), and can stream on smartphones, PCs, Smart TVs, PS3 + PS4, Android devices, and Apple Carplay.
That sounds great, right? It is. You’ll make a couple of sacrifices when you don’t subscribe to Premium. The first downside of the free tier is that you’ll have to listen to ads pretty often. How often, you ask? You’ll hear an ad about every 15 minutes. Additionally, you’re also limited to six skips per hour while shuffling and won’t be able to access any curated playlists or radio stations.
One of the biggest sacrifices is the inability to choose specific songs while streaming on mobile. You’re only allowed to shuffle play while you stream from your phone. You also won’t be able to listen offline and the quality of the audio is lower than if you were to stream Premium subscription audio.
If you don’t have a problem with all of that, there’s no need to begin a Premium plan. But I know there are big-time music fans like me out there that are willing to pay for a better listening experience so let’s talk Premium.
The typical individual Spotify Premium subscription costs $9.99 a month. With the subscription, you get a completely ad-free listening experience, the ability to select specific songs to play, the option to download tracks for offline listening, skip as many songs as you’d like, and on top of that, you’ll be able to listen to higher quality audio streams.
With a Premium subscription, you have the freedom to truly listen to your music however, whenever, and wherever you want. You’ll have full access to curated playlists made just for you, Spotify Radio stations, and mobile selection. No more shuffling and hoping you like the next song. With Premium, you have the power to choose what you jam to.
Subscribing also allows you to use Spotify Connect which helps you play songs across multiple devices. Spotify Connect lets you control what’s playing on your laptop from the app on your phone and visa versa. This makes controlling your music at parties and get-togethers super easy.
Spotify Premium for family
People like free things. People like Spotify. But you can’t get Spotify Premium for free. It’s sad. On the bright side, you sure can manage to get Premium for a discounted price.
Spotify Premium for Family allows up to six users access to a joint Premium subscription for $14.99 a month. This shareable subscription still allows the group to each have their own personal account but pay much less for the same Premium features. The more people you add to a Premium Family subscription, the lower the cost per person.
Spotify’s rules claim that the six members must reside at the same address and because the streaming service only uses the honor system to verify your address, it’s up to you to decide if you want to obey the rule or not.
Spotify Premium for students
Spotify Premium for students promises the same features as an individual Premium subscription with a few add-ons. For starters, a student subscription is $4.99 a month, (a 50% discount for eligible students currently enrolled in a college or university) and comes with an ad-supported Hulu plan as well as one to SHOWTIME.
Because an ad-supported Hulu plan normally runs you $8 a month and SHOWTIME runs you $11, Spotify is cutting you a pretty great deal. Especially if you love watching TV.
Note: Spotify uses a third party API called SheerID to check your enrollment status and will accept all accredited Title IV institutions in the US. Your student subscription is valid for one year but is renewable and only available to users over the age of 18.
It’s up to you
Although we can’t decide for you, hopefully reading through the different plans has helped you get closer to taking the plunge and subscribing to Spotify Premium. If you listen to music daily, subscribing to a streaming service is a no-brainer. It’s up to you to decide which one you like best.
Premium gives you a great lineup of features and the ability to stream millions of songs instantly. That’s not to say other options aren’t out there.
Alexa is a former content associate at G2. Born and raised in Chicago, she went to Columbia College Chicago and entered the world of all things event marketing and social media. In her free time, she likes being outside with her dog, creating playlists, and dabbling in Illustrator. (she/her/hers)