Spotify Free Vs Premium – Differences Explained

If you’re a Spotify Free listener, you may have considered switching to Premium to get rid of the advertisements. However, the choice isn’t always so straightforward. Perhaps you’re afraid to commit to a subscription payment, or you’re unsure if you’ll be capable of using most of the Premium features to recover the investment. Making the decision to update in any instance can indeed be tough.

As a result, we’ll compare Spotify Free Vs Spotify Premium in this article to determine if the latter is good value for money.

From Spotify

What Spotify Free Offers You

Spotify Free is a free ad-supported product that gives users access to all 70 million tracks and podcasts available on Spotify. You will, however, be expected to see pop-up and audio advertisements.

Apart from that, there are a few additional options you can expect from Spotify Free:

1. There are four audio quality modes both for mobile and desktop, all of which are limited to 160kbit/s.
2. Music cannot be listened to offline, however podcasts can be uploaded.
3. You can enjoy playing your songs for 14 days while visiting another nation without needing to alter your location in your settings menu.
4. Customized playlists are available. Because they are already personalized to one’s interests, algorithm-driven playlists, as opposed to systematically organized playlists, are a wonderful way to get past Spotify Free’s constraints. As a result, you’ll be more suitable to detect songs you like while still conserving your skips.

From UX Collective

Spotify Free is restricted in a number of ways, which differ based on whether you use the mobile or desktop.

The desktop software supports on-demand playback, which means one can enjoy playing any track in any arrangement from any available playlist. After a specific number of skipped tracks, you’ll hear advertisements, which usually last approximately 30 seconds. It’s not uncommon to get three commercials in a row, but it doesn’t happen very often.

The restrictions for the smartphone app are more plentiful. Playlists are only played in shuffle mode for beginners. However, you can preview track lists and ‘hide’ music that you don’t like, and that is another way to customize one’s listening encounter.

The phone app also has fewer music skips than the desktop version. One can still get unlimited skips whether they are listening to a few of the 15 unique playlists listed above.

What You Get When You Subscribe to Spotify Premium

Spotify Premium is a paid subscription service that costs $9.99 a month and gives you full access to all of the app’s features. All playlists are available for on-demand playback at the Premium level, which is also totally ad-free.

Spotify Premium provides you the freedom to take your music with you wherever you go. If you’re going somewhere without WiFi, you also can upload up to 10,000 songs as well as podcasts for offline listening. Finally, Premium clients have access to 320 kbit/s sound quality on mobile and desktop apps.

Solved: "blue" shuffle button - The Spotify Community
From The Spotify Community

Various Spotify Premium Plans

Spotify offers a range of Premium plans in addition to the Premium Individual plan. Here’s a quick review of what’s included in those plans:

Premium Duo

Spotify provides a Premium Duo plan which can be combined to two users who live in the same area, as previously mentioned. For $12.99 per month, two people can enjoy two separate Premium subscriptions into one payment. It’s a great method to save money while getting Premium services.

In addition to those Premium Personal options, subscribers get Duo Mix, a playlist that incorporates both your top tracks and music genres.

Premium Student

This Premium Student plan applies to universities, colleges, and students currently enrolled in SheerID-accredited schools. It comes with all of the features of  the Premium Individual plan at half the cost of the standard monthly premium. As previously noted, it also provides a gateway to SHOWTIME as well as Hulu, and that is a great Spotify offer that is perfect for students on a budget plan.

Students will be required to complete a SheerID authentication process. Your current Student Premium subscription will then be eligible for use once you’ve completed these steps. Student Premium subscriptions can only be renewed 3 times each year for a minimum of four years.

How to upgrade to Spotify Premium
From Trusted Reviews

Premium Family

Spotify Premium Family is a membership option that allows six users to possess their own Premium accounts. It includes all of the features of both the Premium Individual plan, as well as additional features such as Spotify Kids and Family Mix.

Similar to Duo Mix, Family Mix gathers music that are enjoyed by all plan users into a single, constantly updated playlist. Spotify Kids, on the contrary, is a distinct app that allows children to manage their own profiles and choose from a choice of kid-friendly content.

Premium Family also has an Explicit Category Filter, which shields younger family members from inappropriate content.

Spotify Plus

According to a report from August 2021, Spotify is now trying out an advanced ad-supported subscription plan called Spotify Plus on either a small number of users.

Spotify Plus promises unlimited skips as well as on streaming with commercials for $0.99 per month. While that sounds appealing, Spotify hasn’t indicated when or if it would be publicly introduced.

What Are the Differences Between Spotify’s Free and Premium Versions?

When deciding either to go for the Free or Premium plan, it’s always a good idea to take notice of the differences between the two. We’ve already touched on several of these variations, however in this part, we’ll give each one a more thorough examination for ease of reference.

 Spotify FreeSpotify Premium
MonthlyFreeStudents – $4.99
Individual – $9.99
Duo – $12.99
Family – $14.99
AdsYes No Ads
Music Library> 40 million songsOver 40 million songs plus newly issued songs
AvailabilityPCs, Smartphones, connected devices, smart TVs, PS3 & PS4, Android Auto, Apple CarplayPCs, Smartphones, Connected devices, smart TVs, PS3 & PS4, Android Auto, Apple Carplay
Special FeaturesMobile streamingAd-free and Offline listening; Unlimited skips; Mobile streaming
Audio Quality96kbps and 160kbps96kbps, 160kbps and 320kbps


At some point, both audio and visual advertisements will interrupt your Spotify Free streaming. Upon ignoring a certain number of tracks, usually about 14, ads appear mostly on desktop apps. When you activate the app or change playlists on the phone app, full-screen advertising occurs, but not when you’re playing music because playback is already limited.

Spotify Premium, on the other hand, remains ad-free.

Playback Control

Users with a free account gain accessibility to 15 automatically generated tracks that they can play whenever they like. Among the playlists available are New Music Friday, Discover Weekly, Daily Mixes, and Launch Alert, to name a few. Spotify Free gives desktop app users additional freedom, allowing them to play any song from any playlist they want.

Users get unlimited skips and full on-demand playback using Spotify Premium.

From The Verge

Social Features

Spotify’s extensive social features are available both for premium and free subscribers. Also on the friend activity section, one can see what music their pals have also been enjoying as well as create playlists with them.

Premium subscribers, for example, have access to Group Sessions, a feature that allows you to connect live listening groups with up to five pals.

Supported Devices

Previously, you could only use Spotify Connect-enabled devices to listen to music if you were a Premium subscriber. Later in 2018, Spotify abandoned this tactic and made the service available to all customers. All free and subscription Spotify members may now enjoy seamless listening across several platforms and devices thanks to Spotify Connect.

Sound Quality

Spotify Free users have four audio quality options for both desktop and mobile apps:

  • Automatic: Requires an internet connectivity
  • Low: 24 kbit/s
  • Normal: 96 kbit/s
  • High: 160 kbit/s

Spotify Premium subscribers, on the contrary, enjoy accessibility to most of the quality options listed above, as well as an additional ‘Very High’ preset that plays at 320 kbit/s.

Furthermore, Spotify members may begin receiving uncompressed audio quality. During Spotify’s Stream on launch in February 2021, the latest Hi-Fi option was announced. While it’s unclear whether it’ll be a separate subscription or part of the Premium package, it’ll be a great addition.


Spotify members, both Premium and Free, have accessibility to most of the company’s music and podcast content, and the Discovery features. Premium subscribers may get first crack at upcoming music releases or exclusive content, whilst free users will have to wait a few weeks.

Offline Listening

On Spotify Free, there is no option to upload tracks for free today. If you don’t really have wifi access, you’ll have to play music using mobile data. If you need something about your leisure, you can also upload audios.

If you have Spotify Premium, you can upload either tracks and podcasts via the phone app. One also can upload up to ten thousand songs to as many as five different devices. Login to Spotify online not less than once each 30 days to keep your songs in your library.

Spotify Equalizer

Both Spotify Free and Spotify Premium feature an in-house custom equalizer that allows users to tweak the sound settings within iOS or Android. This can be found under the ‘Playback’ Settings. Although not the most advanced, there is a basic parametric EQ as well as options to choose between different presets. See our article on how to use Spotify’s equalizer for a more in-depth guide.

What Are Some Lesser-Known Features of Spotify?

Spotify has a habit of launching advanced options on a regular basis. During 2017, for instance, it created a “Time Capsule” playlist for Premium and non-Premium consumers aged 16 and up. The playlists were made with their long history of listening in mind. It was made to look like a playlist that people may have played in high school.

From Live Music

Another new Spotify product was the “Pet Playlist,” that people may construct by selecting their pet’s species and scoring their pet’s activities over just a few different scales. This data was merged with the user’s preferred musical styles and genres to create a mix for users and their pets.

Spotify’s Carplay Mode Is Well-Suited with Android Auto

Once you link your phone to your car via Bluetooth, Spotify will automatically switch to Android or Carplay Auto mode, depending on the operating system and whether your car has these features. Because of these features, the quantity of data displayed on the screen is limited, making it convenient to use the software when driving. We do not, however, recommend using the application when driving. It’s best if your travel companion takes action.

They additionally make it easy to link with popular navigation programs like Waze and Google Maps. Spotify is also supported by a number of music-listening gadgets, including the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Make the best use of Spotify Carplay Mode with these recommended Double Din Units for your car.

From Alphr

Who Should Upgrade to a Premium Account?

Spotify Free is similar to radios because it broadcasts a combination of pre-selected tracks interrupted with short commercials. Except that along with the latter, you get passage to a larger library of podcasts as well as songs for free.

Premium, on the contrary, delivers a slew of perks that make the $9.99 monthly cost well worth it. You have greater control and independence of your songs, as well as additional tools, better audio quality, and first access to recent releases and exclusive content, all while avoiding bothersome ads.

Assume, though, that you’re a casual music enthusiast who isn’t choosy about what they listen to. In that situation, Spotify Free can be enough for someone who is content with some hit tunes or prefers having music playing in the backdrop to help them focus when operating.

Spotify Premium, is for the true music lover who demands complete control throughout their listening encounter and will not accept anything except the highest sound quality. It’s for people who want to play music for the purpose of listening to music and don’t want to be interrupted by commercials.

Spotify Premium too is ideal for frequent travelers who would like to have their music accompanied with them at all instances. Students gain a lot since, in addition to Premium features, you get access to two additional famous film subscription services at a greatly reduced cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Is There An Audiobook Section on Spotify?

Yes. Spotify may be tough to find due to its music-centric focus. To find soundtracks, type ‘audiobooks’ into the search area, or attempt browsing for a specific book. Online audiobooks from the public library may be available for free.

2) Is There A Senior Discount on Spotify?

Scholars, live-in partners or neighbors, and families of six individuals do not receive a discount from Spotify.

3) When I Cancel My Premium Subscription, Will I be Able To Retrieve The Songs I’ve Uploaded?

Yes, you can blame either your unlimited Spotify membership and Spotify’s partnership with Amazon for this. Unless you have Spotify Premium, you won’t be able to request certain music with the Echo Dot. You can, nevertheless, request Alexa to play your Discover Weekly playlist, Today’s Top Hits playlist, or a made – to – order playlist, and she will shuffle between the songs on such tracks.

4) Is It Possible to Explore Songs Based on Their Lyrics?

Absolutely, if the singer has linked their words to the song, the music will surface if you enter the song’s lines into the Spotify url bar. This could be done with the help of programs like Musixmatch.

5) Will Listening to Local Files on the Phone App Ever Really be Simpler?

Sure, Spotify is planning to implement this feature, which will eliminate the requirement to upload local files via the app prior to playing them on phone.

6) Is It Possible For Musicians to Ask For Their Songs To Be Included in My Algorithm?

That’s not how it operates at all. Spotify has launched a new feature that allows musicians to choose which tracks should be favored for inclusion in user algorithms. This does not ensure that their music will be included in one’s algorithm, and nothing a musician can do to prevent it. If Spotify’s algorithm recommends that musician, it’s merely emphasizing one track over others. This feature is just another part of Spotify’s algorithmic engine, and it’s only available for Spotify Autoplay and Radio right now.


Premium Spotify has more features over Free Spotify, but it’s up to you as long as you’re willing to recompense for a subscription. If you get a family, student, or paid subscription, Spotify Premium isn’t too pricy, but if you’re still hesitant, Spotify provides free month-long Premium trials.

With all the perks it has to offer, Spotify has grown into a much loved music streaming app. However, there are certainly competitor products out there and it is wise to assess the benefits and disadvantages of each before making that purchase.

We hope that this article has aided you in determining either or not Spotify Premium is worthwhile.

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