By the end of 2022, Spotify’s global Premium subscribers topped 205 million, continuing its reign as the top-dog music streaming service in the world. And while its closest competitors, Apple Music and Amazon Music, offer comparable 100-million song catalogs, as well as higher-quality lossless audio tracks, Spotify’s user interface is often held on a pedestal for its ease of use, fun design, social elements, and aptitude at helping users discover new music. The platform is also always adding new features, such as its AI-driven “DJ” assistant.
But that user experience can be limited depending upon the tier. The only way to enjoy unlimited skips, free downloads, offline listening, and a host of other great features is by upgrading your account to Spotify Premium. With four plan options that range from $6 to $17 per month — note that prices increased in mid-2023 — Spotify is a pretty good value. But before you grab your credit card and sign up, read on as we dig into what you get with Spotify Premium and explore how you might be able to 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, replay recent albums, subscribe to podcasts, and more. While the free service is more than enough for casual listeners, more regular listeners may get annoyed with the constant ads, limited shuffles, and slightly lower sound quality.
Spotify Premium: Individual — $11 per month
Those willing to part with a little cash can access a host of top-tier features, including more than 100 million ad-free tracks, plus the ability to download your music directly to a device and get higher streaming quality. As a Spotify Premium user, you can save tracks and podcasts for offline listening, which is ideal for travelers and people using Spotify during their commute. You also get a month for free when you subscribe for the first time.
Spotify Premium: Duo — $15 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 a combination of collaborative playlists and Spotify’s personalization that automatically “blends” together each user’s (up to 10) musical tastes in a shareable playlist. Cost-wise, it’s basically two accounts for $7.50 per month each, with cute sharing features for couples and best friends.
Spotify Premium: Student — $6 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 — $17 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. Spotify Kids has child-friendly songs, so you don’t have to worry about any of your kids accidentally streaming explicit music. You can also make playlists for the kids so they only listen to what you allow. 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 of Premium for free. From Spotify itself, those new to Spotify Premium can get the first month for free just by signing up. If you just bought a new Samsung Galaxy device, you may also be eligible for a free three-month trial of Spotify Premium, but this offer is only available in the U.S. And since you can cancel Spotify Premium at any time, you can walk away when the offer expires, without paying a dime.
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:
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 is among the employers that offer their employees, or “partners,” a Spotify Premium account for free.
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, right now, plans in the U.S. start at $10 a month, but Australian users get similar features for 12 Australian dollars ($7), users in the U.K. pay £10 a month ($11), and Indian users pay just 119 INR (a little over $1) a month. 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. Spotify and YouTube Music cost the same for their individual premium, ad-free tiers at $10 per month, with Apple Music now coming in at just a dollar more. Prices are roughly the same for their other tiers, with Apple Music’s additional dollar on each, too, and they all 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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