If you find yourself obsessed with a specific song or artist, needing to listen to music throughout your workweek, or use music as a way to unwind after a long day, you are not alone. It has been scientifically proven that our brains release a feel-good chemical called dopamine when listening to music. That explains why humans love music to the point of considering it a necessity.
If you’re old enough, you will remember the cost and patience it would take to amass a respectable record, cassette, or CD collection. Every time a new playback method came into fashion, you had to buy your collection all over again. The internet and music streaming services really changed the game, allowing us to do away with tangible collections and listed to curated music on our computers and smartphones.
Spotify is one of the largest and most respected music streaming services available today. As with most music streaming services, there is both a free and premium plan to choose from. If something is being offered for free, why would you want to pay for a premium membership? Deciding if a premium Spotify membership is worth it is precisely what we will be discussing here.
Comparing the Free and Premium Versions of Spotify
While anyone can enjoy listening to and creating playlists on Spotify, you’ll get a lot more control over your music with a premium plan. Here are the significant differences between the free and premium Spotify plans.
|Free Plan $0||Premium Plan $9.99 Monthly|
|Song Selection||Shuffle playlists and listen to whatever comes up, less control over song selection.||Select the exact song you want to listen to wherever you want.|
|Replay Songs||You Cannot replay songs. You have to listen to the whole playlist for the song to come around again.||Replay your favorite song over and over until you’re sick of hearing it.|
|Skip Songs||You are allowed only a few skips per day.||Skip song to your heart’s content.|
|Annoying Ads||Free membership comes at a cost, listening to frequent and repetitive ads.||Listen ad-free!|
|Downloading Songs||Not available on the free membership.||Download songs in a playlist to listen to when traveling and don’t have wifi access.|
|Newest Releases||Some new releases are restricted for several weeks on the free plan.||Get instant access to newly released music on Spotify.|
The amount of control a Spotify Premium account grants you over the music you listen to is unparalleled by competing streaming services. Between picking the exact song you want to hear at any given moment and the lack of advertisements, Spotify premium will quickly become your most-used streaming service. The plan is unlimited regarding how many songs or hours of music you can listen to. You can also access podcasts through Spotify.
Spotify Offers Affordable Service with Cost-Saving Perks
While $10 a month is already pretty cheap for unlimited music streaming, you’ll get an even lower price with a student or family plan. Students can get Spotify premium, ad-supported Hulu, and Showtime for just $4.99 a month after a 30-day free trial. If you have a family, a family membership is $14.99 a month but includes up to 6 people making it less than $3 per person each month.
How Other Music Streaming Services Compare to Spotify
Besides Spotify, the top streaming music streaming services come from Apple, Amazon, Pandora, and YouTube.
|Free Option?||Premium Price||Notes|
|Spotify||Yes||$9.99 / Month$4.99 / Month for students||Provides most control over music, largest library of hits.|
|Apple Music||Yes||$9.99 / Month$4.99 / Month for students||Unable to use on devices that don’t have Apple ID|
|Amazon Music||Yes||$9.99 / Month$7.99 / Month for prime members||Smaller library compared to Spotify|
|Pandora Music||Yes||$9.99 / Month$4.99 / Month for students$7.99 / Month for military members/vets||Less control over song play even on a premium plan.|
|YouTube Music||Yes||$9.99 / Month$4.99 / Month for students||YouTube Music is the newest of these streaming services.|
The main differences are in music selection, which is where Spotify really shines. Spotify has the widest selection of popular and indie artists. They also give you the most control over your music.
Pandora, primarily considered the OG of streaming services, only allows you to pick playlists or genres rather than individual songs. It’s great for discovering new music but terrible for people who crave specific songs. When you have a song stuck in your head all day, nothing will satisfy you until you hear it played aloud. That’s what gives Spotify just a leg up when it comes to the popularity of music streaming services.
The Pros of a Spotify Premium Membership
If you listen to music all day, every day, then a music streaming service may feel more like a necessity than a luxury for you. In that case, you’ll find the following pros to Spotify Premium very compelling reasons to take out the upgraded membership.
- Spotify gives you total control over what song you listen to next. While other streaming services make you listen to whole playlists or random songs aggregate from other songs you like, Spotify lets you listen to any song you want in their catalog if you are on the Premium plan.
- You get the ability to skip or repeat songs over and over. The free plan limits this feature or makes you listen to additional ads in order to get more skips.
- The low monthly price, with discounts for families and students, is hard to beat. Especially if you are sharing a family plan. Family plans are meant to be used by people under the same roof, but if you have kids, teens, young adults, or parents living with you, this can mean real savings.
- You can download songs for offline listening when you know you won’t have wifi.
- Get instant access to new music. Some artists limit the free plan to only play their newest hits a few weeks after release. Premium members can listen the day the song drops.
- Listen ad-free for maximum enjoyment. The ads on Spotify feel like they are specifically built to be super annoying. They repeat the same ads often and remind you frequently that if you had premium, you’d no longer have to listen to the ads. The ads alone will probably get you to opt-into the premium plan.
- Get a seamless transition from listening in your home to your car to wherever you happen to go next. If you are in the middle of a playlist while you clean the house, and then you hop in your car to run some errands, you can pick up mid-song right where you left off.
- Spotify connects to Echo Dot, Apple Home, and Other smart devices.
The Cons of Any Music Streaming Membership Like Spotify
Even with a low-cost, high-value service like Spotify, there are always a few drawbacks to consider. Think about how you will use the service and how often you will use the service to help determine if the monthly cost is a fit for you. Here are some cons to taking out a premium music streaming membership.
- You have to pay a monthly or annual fee. Even if it’s cheap, it’s still money out of your pocket.
- If Spotify decided to close up shop tomorrow, you would lose all your saved playlists.
- Spotify has licensing deals with artists and labels. They could, at any time, lose access to songs by artists you love. For example, a few years ago, Taylor Swift pulled her entire song catalog from Spotify over a dispute about how they pay smaller indy artists. Eventually, a new deal was struck, but Swift fans with Spotify were out of luck for a while.
FAQs about the Spotify Music Streaming Service
How do I cancel my Spotify Premium Account?
You can easily cancel your subscription on the Spotify support page right here. You will still have access to your account until the month or year that you’ve already paid for has expired.
How do I download songs for offline listening?
If you know you will be traveling or without wifi, you can download music to enjoy offline. Put the songs you want to download into a playlist on the mobile app. Tap the downward arrow to download. See step-by-step instructions with visuals on how to download music here.
How do I share music and playlists with friends?
You can select copy link from the three dots menu or use the “scan code” feature to share music or playlists using any social media messenger or text messaging. Find detailed instructions on how to share music here.
How can I get notified of new releases and artist news from Spotify?
Make sure your account e-mail address is updated, and your notification settings are on for Fans First news to get emails with information about the artists and songs you love. You can get these e-mail updates on both the free and premium plans.
Wrapping up Spotify Premium Review: Is It Worth It?
Taking into account the many pros and few cons to a Spotify membership, it’s pretty much a no-brainer as long as you love listening to music.
Any membership will only be as valuable as the amount of time you spend using it.
Many people listen to music to help wake them up, get them pumped for the day, while they are working, during house cleaning, and fall asleep at night. Not to mention, music helps you get through your daily commute to work and school.
It’s easy to see why so many people love their Spotify premium membership.