Spotify is one of the best places to stream music and listen to podcasts. It has fantastic apps on most platforms and offers innovative features and great music offerings. You can get most of what Spotify has to offer for free, but deciding to pay for a premium service comes with some serious benefits.
Q: Is Spotify Premium worth it? Let’s take a look at the paid features that are the most compelling reasons to actually hand over the cash.
Unless you long for the radio days, you’re unlikely to enjoy having your playlist interrupted by commercials. Unfortunately, the only way for Spotify to offer you music streaming without asking for money is to sell ads. After all, starting a streaming platform actually costs a lot of money!
For us, this is definitely the main reason why Spotify Premium is worth it. Pure, uninterrupted music without any attempt to sell you anything.
Control over music
Free Spotify users don’t have much control over what they listen to. Shuffle is the only mode you can access, and you can only skip a limited number of tracks. This means you’re more likely to hear songs or artists you don’t like.
Premium users can play any songs in any order. You can skip tracks to your heart’s content. This is another feature that changes the Spotify experience from what is essentially a streaming radio service to a personal music player.
Because music is such a personal thing, we can’t imagine that most people would enjoy being forced to listen to songs they don’t like. This is a big advantage in favor of switching to the premium class.
If you want to listen to the latest music as soon as it’s released, then Spotify Premium is worth it. While this isn’t the case for all songs, there are some big new releases that don’t become available for two weeks for free users.
If you spend most of your time listening to your older favorite music, it doesn’t matter much. Still, it’s worth considering when making a purchase decision.
High quality offline playback and streaming
Today, most of us use smartphones or other mobile devices to listen to music, but they are not always in range of an Internet connection. Maybe you want to listen to music on public transport or while on vacation, away from the Internet.
If you’re using the free version of Spotify, you’ll need an internet connection to continue playing music. With Premium, you can download your favorite songs, albums or playlist to your device and listen to them anywhere.
You can also download high-quality versions of your music, so overall, your downloaded music will have amazing quality and clarity. Even streaming audio benefits from the Premium treatment.
Free Spotify users can stream at 96kbps. This is far below CD quality. If you pay for a premium subscription, you can increase it to 360 kbps. Even if you don’t have a particularly good set of headphones, the difference is still night and day. Getting access to this high quality audio is really worth it. Even non-audiophiles can easily hear the difference.
Is Spotify Premium worth $9.99?
Most people probably don’t think of $9.99 as a lot of money, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean you have to waste your money. We think the price is totally justified, especially considering the days when you could barely buy one album every month for $10.
Even in the age of iTunes, when you buy songs digitally outright, you only get a few individual songs for your money. So, in terms of net worth, Spotify Premium represents an incredible proposition. Not only can you listen to your favorite music anytime, but you can discover and listen to new music without having to pay specifically for it.
There are mainly two disadvantages that apply to all streaming services. First, if Spotify shuts down, you’ll lose access to your music collection. Second, you have no control over what music gets into the service. This means that your favorite music may be removed from Spotify, or may never be released on it at all. We don’t see this as a problem considering the price, but for some users these features may be a deal breaker.
For everyone else, we think Spotify Premium is worth it because any of the key features improve the free experience enough to justify the price.
A family plan is a game changer
While the value of the Premium plan for one user may be debatable, it’s important to remember that Spotify offers much lower prices per user for family groups. The family plan costs $14.99 at the time of writing and covers six family members. That’s about $2.50 per user if you use all six slots.
The family plan also has other cool features like shared family playlists. Even in a household of only two members, the reduction in costs is significant. More than enough to switch to the Premium option. There’s also Spotify for kids.
Spotify does not exist in a vacuum, it has many competitors such as YouTube Music and Apple Music. Some of these services also have free tiers, so if you’re trying to save money but can’t handle some of Spotify Free’s limitations, it’s worth considering.
A key alternative is the free version of YouTube Music. Although it still relies on ads, it offers unlimited song skipping and you can choose any songs you want to play. So, if your main problem with Spotify Free is lack of control rather than ads, YouTube Music Free might be the right choice.
On the other hand, the free YouTube Music Tier does not allow background playback. So the question is what compromises are you willing to live with as a free user.
Is Spotify Premium worth it? Try the trial version
While we can debate the pros and cons of Spotify Free vs. Premium all day, at the end of the day, there’s no substitute for actually living with the service for a while. Spotify knows this better than anyone, which is why it offers a free trial for new users.
Usually these trials last at least 30 days, but sometimes there are offers for 60 or even 90 days. There’s no risk in signing up for a trial, so why not use the premium tier for a while and see if you think paying $9.99 a month is worth the limitations and hassle of Spotify Free.