Spotify is a great platform for discovering new music, making playlists for your friends, and listening to your favorite songs and albums. But if you aren’t paying for it, the user experience is exceedingly limited. The only way to enjoy unlimited skips, free downloads, offline listening, and a host of other great features is by upgrading your Spotify account. A free account will get you in the door, but you have to pay to become a Spotify Premium subscriber to avoid the frustrating limitations of a free account.
There are ways to avoid paying for Spotify at full price. So, before you grab your credit card and sign up, we discuss how much Spotify Premium costs and explore how you can get it at a discount.
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With Spotify Free, you can listen to anything you want in the mobile, web, or desktop Spotify app, as well as on Smart TVs and compatible game consoles, as long as you’re willing to put up with ads. Core search and play features are available, including the ability to listen to specific tracks on demand (somewhat limited on the mobile app), replay recent albums, and more. One downside is that you can only listen to full albums on shuffle, which may be annoying if you’re craving a particular song on it — you’re more or less at the whim of the randomness of the shuffle. That, and you only get a six-skip limit per hour. Curated playlists and offline listening are unavailable in the free version, as is the Radio feature.
Spotify Premium: Individual — $10 per month
Those willing to part with a little cash can access a host of top-tier features, including more than 85 million ad-free tracks, plus the ability to download your music directly to a device and get higher streaming quality. As a Premium user, you also can save tracks for offline listening, access Spotify Radio, podcasts, and watch music videos. It also removes restrictions on listening to Spotify internationally, as well as any mobile app restrictions. Premium Individual is available for a free month’s trial.
Spotify Premium: Duo — $13 per month
With Spotify Duo, you can share your Spotify subscription with a friend, family member, or partner “under one roof.” Both users get their own Spotify dashboards, along with features such as collaborative playlists that you and a bunch of friends can add to and edit, plus Blend, a playlist that’s kind of a combination of collaborative playlists and Spotify’s personalization that, er, automatically “blends” together each user’s (up to 10) musical tastes is a shareable playlist. Cost-wise, it’s basically two accounts for $6.50 per month each, a nearly $3.50 savings every month.
Spotify Premium: Student — $5 per month
If you’re a student (you need a valid student email address), you can get a Spotify Premium subscription called Student for a discount price. It also comes with an ad-based Hulu subscription and Showtime. Just make sure you re-register as a student after a year, or Spotify will strip you of the Hulu membership and start charging you the full Premium membership price.
Spotify Premium: Family — $16 per month
Those with loved ones who also want to stream music may be more interested in the Spotify Family plan, which lets you have up to six people on one account. It also comes with a host of parental control options, and Spotify Kids, a separate app aimed at children. You get the full features of the service, including the aforementioned Blend and collaborative playlists. Again, volume is everything. Six accounts separately would cost $60 per month.
Spotify occasionally offers broad deals to market its Premium services, which tend to offer a certain number of months free for Premium. One ongoing deal with Xbox allows players to get four months free of Spotify Premium when they subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate — but only if they don’t already have a Spotify account.
Other deals are far more limited. Right now, in summer 2022, you can get one month of Spotify Premium for free just by signing up.
Spotify Partner Premium Plans
Spotify also partners with some large companies to offer specific deals that can help you find discounts for the service. These deals can vary over time, but popular options include:
Walmart: If you’re an avid enough shopper at Walmart, and already have or are contemplating buying a Walmart+ membership for $13 per month or $98 per year, you can take advantage of six months of free Spotify Premium. The only caveat is that you can’t have already had a Spotify Premium account before.
Starbucks Employees: Starbucks is among the employers that offer their employees, or “partners” a Spotify Premium account for free.
PayPal: As with the Walmart offer, if you haven’t already had a Premium account, you can sign up for a PayPal account and cash in on three months of free Spotify Premium.
Spotify pricing can vary from country to country, and sometimes prices aren’t equivalent in local currency. For example, in 2021 Spotify raised the prices for U.K. plans for Individual (10 British pounds), Duo (14 pounds), Student (6 pounds), and Family (17 pounds) while leaving U.S. pricing the same. European countries were similarly affected. Always take a look at your local prices, and consider checking out a reliable VPN.
If you’re torn between Spotify and a rival, chances are it is either Apple Music or YouTube Music. All three cost the same for their individual premium, ad-free tiers at $10 per month, are roughly the same for their other tiers, and tout a similar set of features, but Spotify comes out on top — in our opinion, at least. Why? Because it has the best interface, an endless catalog of on-demand content, fantastic curated playlists, and a free tier (namely, Spotify Free) that’s better than YouTube Music’s free plan, for those who don’t want — or aren’t in the position — to enter into a commitment.
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