Spotify, one of the leading music streaming platforms, offers both Free and Premium subscriptions to cater to a diverse audience. According to ExpressVPN, Spotify boasts over 515 million active users every month, making it the most popular music streaming service there is. The choice between the free option and the premium can be perplexing, especially with the recent updates and the competition in the music streaming industry. We’re going to be looking at the key differences so that you can decide on the right option for you.
Both Spotify Free and Premium provide access to an extensive library of over 80 million songs and 2.6 million podcasts. However, Premium users gain an advantage when artists choose to release exclusive content to them for two weeks. If you crave the latest tracks as soon as they drop, Spotify Premium is the safer bet.
The most noticeable disparity between Spotify’s Free and Premium tiers is the absence of ads in Premium. Free users encounter visual ads while navigating the app and audio ads that play between songs, which can be distracting, especially during social gatherings. One of the issues with ads of late has been that surrounding privacy and exactly what details are being shared with advertisers. Going premium does away with this.
Premium offers more control over your music playback. Free users are restricted to shuffle play for whole albums on mobile devices, while Premium users can select their preferred playback mode. Spotify also introduced clearer shuffle and play buttons for Premium subscribers, addressing previous controversies about auto-shuffle.
Premium users enjoy unlimited skips, allowing them to bypass songs they don’t like. In contrast, Free users are limited to six skips per hour, with some exceptions for certain playlists.
Both Free and Premium users can access Spotify on various devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, game consoles, and even in-car systems with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or Spotify’s Car Thing device.
Spotify excels in sharing songs and playlists across social media, available to both Free and Premium users. Premium offers Family Mix and Duo Mix playlists, recommending songs based on the listening habits of family members or duo plan partners.
Spotify’s personalised playlists and discovery features work identically for both Free and Premium users. You can enjoy Daily Mix collections and the Discover Weekly mix to broaden your music horizons.
Premium users benefit from higher-quality audio streaming at 320kbps, a significant improvement over the 160kbps (mobile) and 128kbps (desktop) offered to Free users. If you appreciate audio quality, Premium is the way to go.
Spotify Premium allows users to download songs for offline listening, a valuable feature when you lack a Wi-Fi or data connection. Unfortunately, Free users cannot save songs offline, limiting their music access in certain situations.
Choosing between Spotify Free and Premium ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities. If you don’t mind occasional ads, enjoy letting Spotify curate your music, and primarily listen to music in social settings, Spotify Free provides substantial value. With access to over 80 million songs, it’s a compelling option.
However, if you crave the latest releases, desire full control over playback, appreciate higher sound quality, and want the flexibility of offline listening, Spotify Premium is well worth the monthly fee. Even as Spotify considers introducing a higher-tier option, Premium remains an attractive middle ground for serious music enthusiasts.