Spotify Free vs Premium: Should You Pay to Play or Stay Free?

Posted by Adam Gorden on July 25, 2017 14:04:01 PM.

spotify premium vs free

Being one of the most popular and best music streaming services, Spotify has long provided all users with easy access to a huge library of streaming music, say 40 million songs, according to Spotify, no matter if you are subscribing the Free or Premium plan. However, in order to encourage people to pay for music, Spotify has applied some limits to the free membership. If you are new to Spotify and have no idea whether you should subscribe to Spotify Premium or listen free, you can refer to the following review where we are explaining the major differences between Spotify Free and Premium from price, features and audio quality, etc. so that you can decide which Spotify plan is right for you.


The biggest difference between Spotify Free and Premium is the price. As the name suggests, Spotify Free is free for everyone with no cost at all. To subscribe Premium, you should pay £9.99 per month. The great thing for Premium is that Spotify offers you a one month free trial to test its features before you finally decide to sign up the account.

Accessibility & Limitation

Both Spotify Free and Premium have their own capabilities and limits. As for the Free plan, the annoyance is that it supports ads.That's to say, every few tracks you play, a short advert or two will be played, which will somehow harm your listening experience. On desktop, you won't feel too limited by Spotify Free as it lets you choose any artist, album, playlist, or song that you'd like to listen to and rock out to it as much as you like. But on mobile, things get a bit more restrictive. Using an iPhone or Android device, you'll still have access to the Spotify catalog, but you'll be forced to listen to everything in Shuffle mode or pre-made playlists. What's more, when you're using Spotify Free, you'll need to be online to listen to music instead of downloading any track to play offline.

If you upgrade to Spotify Premium, it will remove all adverts on every platform so you can listen the music without any interruption. Aside from removing ads, Premium plan also unlocks full access on your mobile devices, meaning you can listen to any song at any time on your phone as exactly the same when you listen on your desktop or laptop. Another huge benefit of Premium, of course, is the ability to download Spotify music for offline listening, which allows you to save up to 3,333 tracks on up to three devices.

Audio Quality & Experience

The audio quality you'll get from Free and Premium is also different. Generally speaking, Spotify uses three different quality settings for streaming in the Ogg Vorbis format. Spotify Free provides 96 kbps as the standard bitrate for mobile, then jumps to 160 kbps for desktop and web player 'standard quality' and 'high quality' on mobile. As for Spotify Premium, you'll get 320kbps which is 'high quality' on desktop and 'extreme quality' on mobile. Therefore, if you've got nice headphones or concern much about the music quality, you are suggested to go Spotify Premium for its high quality audio option.

Other Features

Premium prevails in other aspects as it owns some extra features that Free doesn't include, such as Spotify Connect, which controls Spotify music across multiple devices, making seamless transitions between listening on your phone and computer, the Year in Music and the amazing Discover Weekly playlists that help you find new music from Spotify.

Conclusion: Should You Sign Up Premium or Stay Free

Our verdict is, if you don't care much about the music quality and listening experience, the Free plan might just be enough for you. But if you are the kind of enthusiastic music lovers who want to hear the latest and high-quality songs, save music offline, hate ads, then Spotify Premium is absolutely the best investment you should make.

Extra Tips: How to Download Spotify Music Offline for Free

spotify converter

As the Spotify music is protected by DRM, only Premium users can download Spotify songs for offline listening. However, if you are a Free plan subscriber, you can also save the Spotify songs to your devices for playing offline. In this case, all you'll need is a smart Spotify DRM removal tool, like TunesKit Music Converter for Spotify, with which you can easily download any Spotify music file, such as tracks, albums, playlists and artists and convert the songs to common MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, M4A, M4B formats to play on any popular mobile devices and MP3 players. For more details on how to convert Spotify songs to MP3, you can visit the following guide.

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is an experienced writer of TunesKit who is obessing about tech, movie and software.

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