Spotify is the undisputed giant in the music streaming industry. It offers users two levels of music enjoyment: Spotify Free and Spotify Premium. To date, it has more than 574 million users, including 226 million subscribers. Both free and premium Spotify users have access to the same music library of more than 100 million songs. But premium users can enjoy more advanced services such as offline listening, higher quality sound, etc. Today we'll compare Spotify free vs Premium in every aspect, including their sound quality, price, listening experience, and more. Hope this helps you decide whether you need to subscribe to Spotify.
Part 1. Spotify Premium vs Free: Price
Spotify Free allows users to listen to songs, playlists or albums from Spotify for free. You can sign up for a free Spotify account using your email, or you can log in using Facebook. With a free account, you can listen to your favorite music on the Spotify app or web player on any device.
The standard version of Spotify Premium - Individual is priced at $10.99/month. It gives you access to other premium features like ad-free playback, unlimited skips, offline listening, and more.
If you're an eligible student, you can get discounted pricing on Spotify Premium. Just verify your student status and you can subscribe to Spotify Premium Student for $5.99 per month. It gives you access to full Spotify Premium features as well as an ad-supported version of Hulu.
You can also subscribe to Spotify Premium Family for $16.99 per month. It allows up to 6 family members to enjoy Spotify Premium, each with their own account. If there are only two people living at the same address, you might consider Spotify Premium Duo for $14.99/month. It offers two separate premium accounts.
By the way, if you have never subscribed to Premium, you can enjoy a free 30-day trial before paying for Premium. This lets you see if a Premium subscription is right for you. If you don't like it, you need to cancel your Spotify subscription before the end of 30 days. Otherwise, you will be automatically renewed.
View also: How to Get Spotify Premium for Free
Part 2. Spotify Free vs Premium: Ads
Spotify Free lets you listen to music for free, but with ads. Ads can be audio ads, podcast ads, or video ads. If you listen to Spotify music using the free version, you'll likely hear audio ads every few songs, with each ad typically being 15 to 30 seconds long. This may interrupt your listening experience.
Spotify Premium, on the other hand, offers an ad-free listening experience. This means you can enjoy uninterrupted music without any commercial interruption. However, some ads may appear when listening to podcasts, as the podcast hosts may add some ads.
View also: How to Block Ads on Spotify
Part 3. Spotify Free vs Spotify Premium: Music Catalog
Spotify Free users have access to Spotify's full music library, which includes more than 100 million tracks, 5 million podcasts and 350,000 audiobooks.
However, Spotify Premium offers exclusive content not available to free users, such as new releases of new albums, podcasts, and live performances. If you are a free user, you may have to wait 2 weeks or more to listen to them.
All in all, Spotify Premium is a great way to keep track of your favorite singers and artists. But the catalog that free users can listen to is also extremely large.
Part 4. Spotify Free vs Premium Sound Quality
Spotify songs are in OGG or AAC audio format. Both are lossy formats.
For Spotify web player, music is encoded in AAC format. Free users can listen to music at 128kbps sound quality, while Premium users can enjoy 256kbps sound quality. There are no music quality settings on the Spotify web player.
As for the Spotify app, you can adjust the music quality to save data. Free users can listen to music on four levels: Automatic, Low (24kbps), Normal (96kbps) or High (160kbps). The Automatic level depends on your network connection. Premium users, on the other hand, can enjoy 5 levels, with one added to Very High (320kbps).
Note: Podcast quality is typically up to 96kbps on all devices. But on web players, it can go up to 128kbps by default. If you use the Spotify app, you can reduce podcast quality to 24kbps.
Automatic: Dependent on your network connection
Automatic: Dependent on your network connection
Very High: 320kbps
Part 5. Spotify Premium vs Free: Offline Listening
Free Spotify users cannot download music for offline listening. If you are a free user, you can only listen to music online or save and download Spotify podcasts.
With Spotify Premium, you can download Spotify albums, playlists, and podcasts to up to five different devices for offline playback. But please note that you cannot download singles. If you want to download a single, you need to add it to your playlist in advance and then download the entire playlist. Afterward, you can enable offline mode on your device to listen to Spotify songs without an internet connection.
Furthermore, you can also use DRmare Spotify Music Converter to download Spotify music without Premium. It supports all Spotify audio content such as tracks, playlists, albums, audiobooks, podcasts, and more. The downloaded music is up to 320kbps and all metadata information is well kept. Plus, it can also convert Spotify songs to common MP3, WAV, FLAC, AAC, M4A and M4B formats. Then you can play Spotify music offline anywhere you want.
Now, we will walk you through how to use this smart tool to download music from Spotify without Premium.
Step 1. Hit on the 'Download' button above to install the tool for free on your Windows or Mac computer.
Step 2. Open the tool and enter the pop-up Spotify music app. Then drag any song from it to the DRmare tool. You can also put the song's link into the search bar on the DRmare program. And then click the '+' symbol.
Step 3. Touch the 'Menu' icon and then choose 'Preferences' > 'Convert' to change audio format and other parameters. After that, hit on the 'OK' button.
Step 4. Press on the 'Convert' button to start downloading music from Spotify to local files and save on your computer.
Part 6. Spotify Free vs Premium: Playback Controls
Free Spotify users can freely choose their favorite artists, playlists, albums or songs to listen to on the desktop app. But things are different when you use the Spotify app on your mobile device. You can't select specific music to play. You can only choose to shuffle albums or playlists. This can be annoying if you want to listen to a specific song. Plus, you can only skip 6 tracks per hour, except for curated playlists created by Spotify.
If you want to get rid of these limitations, upgrading to a suitable Spotify Premium plan seems like a good option. With a Spotify Premium subscription, you can listen to unlimited songs, playlists, or albums ad-free. You can play any music on your mobile device at any time, just like you enjoy Spotify tracks on your desktop. What’s more, an exclusive feature only available on Spotify Premium is Spotify Connect. It allows you to listen to Spotify music on other devices such as speakers and control the music playback on the original device.
Part 7. Spotify Premium vs Free: Social Features
Both Free and Premium Spotify users have access to the same social features, such as sharing music, friend events, collaborative playlists, and more.
You can share music with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts. You can also create and share collaborative playlists with others, which can be edited and listened to by both you and the people you share with. You can also link your Spotify account to your Facebook account to connect with your friends, view their listening activity, and more. Additionally, Spotify Blend is another great feature that can generate playlists based on your listening history and share them with friends, family, and even popular artists.
However, Spotify Premium comes with one perk - access to the Spotify Group Sessions feature, which lets you listen to music with up to five friends.
Part 8. Spotify Free vs Spotify Premium: Additional Features
Besides the features above, there are still lots of features of Spotify Free and Premium. Here you can check the as below.
Spotify Wrapped is a feature that you can see your yearly listening stats, including the song you listened to the most for the past year, how many time you spent listening to music and so on.
The lyrics feature on Spotify is also available for both Spotify Premium and Free users. While listening to music, users can view real-time lyrics and sing along.
Also, both plans are allowed to add local audio files to Spotify music library for playing.
However, the free service only allows you to use Spotify for up to 14 days if you're traveling abroad, while the premium service has no time limit.
View also: Use Spotify Abroad without 14 Days Limits
Part 9. Spotify Free vs Premium: Comparison Table
|$10.99/month for Individual
$5.99 for Students
$16.99 for Family
|Over 100 million songs, 5 million podcasts and 350,000 audiobooks
|Over 100 million songs, 5 million podcasts, 350,000 audiobooks, and newly issued songs
|Number of Skips Per Hour
|Up to 160kbps
|Up to 320kbps
|Travel Abroad with Your Music
|Up to 14 days
|Friend activity, collaborative playlists, share music
|Friend activity, collaborative playlists, share music, and group sessions
Now you know the difference between Spotify Free and Premium. It is obvious that Spotify Premium offers better services and allows you to enjoy offline playback, ad-free music, higher music quality, unlimited skips, and more. If you have these needs, you can choose Spotify Premium individual, student, duo or family to subscribe. However, if you can’t afford it, Spotify Free is also great and allows you to enjoy a huge music library for free. No matter you choose Spotify Premium or Spotify Free, we recommend you to use DRmare Music Converter, which allows you to download Spotify music without Premium for offline listening anytime and anywhere.