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It's unlikely that you love having your music interrupted by advertisements, unless you pine for the days of radio broadcasts. Unfortunately, the only method for Spotify to provide you with free music streaming is to sell adverts. After all, running a streaming network is really expensive!
Control Over Your Music
Spotify customers with a free account don't have much choice over what they listen to. Shuffle play is the only option available, and you can only skip a certain number of tracks. This implies you'll probably hear songs or performers you don't like more often than not.
Premium subscribers can listen to any song in any sequence they wish. You can skip tracks as much as you want. This is yet another feature that transforms Spotify's service from a streaming radio service to a personal music player.
We don't think the majority of people will enjoy being forced to listen to songs they don't like because music is such a personal experience. That's a major selling argument in favour of paying the extra money.
The Latest Music
If you want to be able to listen to new music as soon as it is released, Spotify Premium is for you. While this does not apply to all tracks, some high-profile new releases are not available for free users for up to two weeks.
This isn't a big deal if you spend most of your time listening to your older favourite music. Even so, it's something to think about before making a purchase.
High Quality Offline Playback & Streaming
The majority of us listen to music on our smartphones or other mobile devices these days, but they aren't constantly within range of an internet connection. Perhaps you want to listen to music when travelling or on vacation, when you are not connected to the internet.
You'll need an internet connection to keep the music playing if you're using Spotify's free version. You may download your favourite songs, albums, or playlists to your device and listen to them from anywhere with Premium.
You can also download high-resolution versions of your music, so downloaded audio will generally be of excellent quality and clarity. The Premium treatment extends to streaming music as well.
Spotify's free customers are limited to 96Kbps streams. That's not even close to CD quality. You can increase this to 360Kbps if you pay for a premium subscription. Even if you don't have really excellent headphones, the difference is night and day. Getting access to this higher-quality audio is really worth it. Even those who aren't audiophiles can tell the difference.
Is Spotify Premium Worth $9.99?
Most people don't consider $9.99 to be a huge sum of money, but just because something is inexpensive doesn't mean you should throw it away. We believe the pricing is entirely reasonable, especially when compared to the days when a single record could be purchased for less than $10 each month.
Even in the digital age of iTunes, when you may buy songs in digital form entirely, you'll only receive a few single tracks for your money. So, from a pure value standpoint, Spotify Premium is a fantastic deal. You may not only listen to your favourite music whenever you want, but you can also find and listen to new music without having to pay for it.
There are two major drawbacks to using a streaming service that apply to all of them. To begin with, if Spotify goes out of business, you would lose access to your carefully collected music library. Second, you have no say in what music is included in the service. This means that your favourite song may be removed from Spotify or may never be available on it. Given the pricing, we don't see this as a concern, but for other customers, these options may be deal breakers.
For everyone else, we believe Spotify Premium is well worth the money, with any one of the primary features outperforming the free version to the point where the cost is justified.
The Family Plan Changes The Game
While the value of the single-user Premium plan is arguable, it's worth noting that Spotify provides significantly lower per-user costs for family groupings. At the time of writing, the Family Plan costs $14.99 and includes six family members. If you use all six spaces, that comes to around $2.50 per user.
Other noteworthy features included in the Family Plan are shared family playlists. Even in a household with only two individuals, the cost savings are significant. It's more than enough to tip the scales in the Premium's favour. A Spotify for Kids is also available.
Spotify does not operate in a vacuum; it competes with YouTube Music and Apple Music, among others. Some of these services also have free tiers, so if you're trying to save money but can't deal with Spotify Free's limits, it's worth looking into.
YouTube Music's free version is an excellent option. While it still relies on advertisements, it allows for limitless song skipping and allows you to play any music you choose. If the lack of control, rather than the advertisements, is your main complaint with Spotify Free, YouTube Music Free might be the better option.
The free YouTube Music Tier, on the other hand, does not allow for background playback. As a result, as a free user, you must decide which tradeoffs you are ready to accept.
Is Spotify Premium Worth It? Try a Trial
While we can discuss the pros and cons of Spotify Free versus Premium all day, in the end there’s no substitute for actually living with the service for a while. Spotify knows this as well as anyone, which is why they offer a free trial for new users.
Typically these trials are at least 30 days long, but sometimes offers for 60 or even 90 days come along. There’s no risk to signing up for the trial, so why not use the Premium tier for a while and see whether you think paying $9.99 a month is worth the limitations and hassle of Spotify Free.
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