Is Spotify Premium worth it?

Spotify is one of the best places to stream music and listen to podcasts. It has great apps on most platforms and offers innovative features and great music recommendations. You can get most of what Spotify has to offer for free, but deciding to pay for the premium service comes with some pretty serious perks.

The question is: is Spotify Premium worth it? Consider paid features the most compelling reason to actually hand over your cash.

No ads!

Unless you crave radio days, you won’t like having your playlist interrupted by commercials. Sadly, the only way for Spotify to offer you music streaming without asking for money is to sell ads. After all, running a streaming platform really costs a lot of money!

For us, this is the biggest reason Spotify Premium is worth it. Pure, uninterrupted music with no one trying to sell you anything.

Take control of your music

Free Spotify users don’t have much control over what they listen to. Shuffle is the only mode you can access, and you only get a limited number of track skips. This means you won’t often listen to songs or artists you don’t like.

Paid users can play any song they want, in any order they want. You can skip songs to your heart’s content. This is another feature that transforms the Spotify experience from a streaming radio service that is essentially a personal music player.

Since music is such a private thing, we can’t imagine most people would enjoy being forced to listen to songs they don’t care about. That’s a big selling point in favor of increasing premiums.

Latest music

If you’re interested in listening to the latest music as soon as it’s released, then Spotify Premium is worth it for you. While it doesn’t apply to all songs, there are some popular new releases that aren’t available for up to two weeks to free users.

If you mainly spend your time listening to your favorite old music, this shouldn’t matter much. However, it is worth considering when making a purchase decision.

High quality playback and streaming

Today, most of us use smartphones or other mobile devices to listen to music, but they don’t always have an internet connection. Perhaps 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 playlists 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 incredible quality and clarity. Even audio streaming benefits from the Premium treatment.

Spotify free users are limited to 96Kbps streams. It is much lower quality than CD. If you pay for a premium subscription, you can increase that speed to 360Kbps. Even if you don’t have a particularly nice set of headphones, the difference is still day and night. It’s totally worth accessing this higher quality audio. Even non-audio enthusiasts can easily hear the difference.

Is Spotify Premium worth $9.99?

Most people probably don’t think $9.99 is a lot of money, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean you should waste your cash. We think the price is perfectly reasonable, especially coming from a time when you can barely buy a single album per month for $10.

Even in the age of iTunes, where you can buy songs completely digitally, you’ll only get a few songs for your money. So from a pure value standpoint, Spotify Premium represents an incredible deal. Not only can you listen to your favorite music at any time, but you can also discover and listen to new music without having to pay specific fees.

There are basically two downsides, which apply to all streaming services. First, if Spotify goes down, you will lose access to your curated music collection. Second, you have no control over what music ends up on the service. This means that your favorite music may be removed from Spotify or never released on it in the first place. We don’t see that as an issue with the price tag, but for individual users, these capabilities can be deal breaker.

For everyone else, we think Spotify Premium is well worth it, with any one of the key features improving on the free experience to a reasonable price point.

Game changing family pack

While the value of a single-user Premium plan can be debatable, it’s important to remember that Spotify offers much cheaper per-user rates for family groups. The Family Plan costs $14.99 at the time of writing and includes six family members. That’s about $2.50 per user if you use all six slots.

The family plan also comes with other cool features, such as shared family playlists. Even in a household with only two members, the cost reduction is significant. More than enough to scale in favor of the Premium option. There’s also Spotify for kids.

Alternative options

Spotify doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it has many competitors like YouTube Music and Apple Music. Some of these services also have free tiers, so if you’re trying to save money but can’t work around some of the limitations Spotify Free has, you should take them into account.

An important alternative is the free version of YouTube Music. While it still relies on ads, it offers unlimited song skips and you can choose any song you want to play. So, if your main concern with Spotify Free is the lack of control, rather than advertising, YouTube Music Free could be the right choice.

On the other hand, the free YouTube Music Tier does not allow background playback. So it’s a question of what compromise you’re willing to live with as a free user.

Is Spotify Premium worth it? Try it out

While we could discuss the pros and cons of Spotify Free versus Premium all day, there’s ultimately no substitute for actually living with the service for a while. Spotify knows this as well as anyone, that’s why they deliver free trial for new users.

Usually, these trials last at least 30 days, but sometimes there are offers that last 60 or even 90 days. There’s no risk in signing up for the trial, so why not stick with 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 or not.

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