Everything you need to know about Spotify

Find out why Spotify has remained the most popular music-streaming service in the world for nearly a decade.

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What is Spotify?

Spotify is currently the most popular music-streaming service in the world. From its launch in Sweden back in 2008, the service has amassed over 140 million users, 50 million of which are paying subscribers. It offers users two ways of getting their music fix: either with a free, ad-supported subscription that includes only basic streaming functionality or with a premium subscription that gets rid of the ads and unlocks extra features like on-demand mobile playback and downloading songs for listening offline.

What features does Spotify offer?

As the force behind the rise of music streaming, Spotify established many of the features that are now standard throughout the industry:

Playlists

Rather than manually searching for your favourite tunes every time you open Spotify, you can build playlists for quick access to your go-to tracks or to suit specific occasions like house parties or for when you just need to chill out. You can then share these playlists with other users and even collaborate with your friends to create comprehensive compilations.

Music discovery

Spotify provides a number of tools for discovering new music. You can "follow" your friends on Spotify to see what they're listening to or follow artists directly to keep up-to-date with their latest releases. You can also make use of Spotify's recommendation engine to discover new tracks and artists it thinks you'll like based on what you've listened to in the past.

The most popular way of going about this is through the "Discover Weekly" playlist, a collection of two hours' worth of music selected from Spotify's library according to your listening habits. This playlist refreshes with new music every week and is an effective means of expanding your musical palate.

Recently, Spotify also added a "Daily Mix" playlist to its discovery toolkit. This playlist functions similarly to Discover Weekly, but refills with new music every day.

Offline play

Though free users have to be online at all times to stream music from Spotify, premium subscribers can download tracks to their devices for listening wherever and whenever they want, regardless of whether they're connected to the Internet. Offline play allows you to download up to 3,333 songs at once to a single device, with support for up to three devices and a total of 9,999 songs. The only catch is that you need to connect Spotify to the Internet at least once every 30 days so that Spotify can verify your Premium subscription is still active. If you don't, you won't be able to listen to those songs offline until you do.

Lyrics

Thanks to partnerships with Genius and Soundhound, Spotify has added support for displaying lyrics on its mobile app while listening to select songs. Certain tracks will even include additional information on the creation of those lyrics, providing deeper insight into the stories and meaning behind the words being sung.

Looking for an alternative to Spotify? Why not check out Apple Music?

What music is available on Spotify?

Despite its claim to fame as the most popular music-streaming service, Spotify's library isn't quite as comprehensive as those of its competitors like Apple Music or Tidal. Still, its catalogue is home to over 35 million tracks, with big-name artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry headlining the roster.

If you've bought your fair share of CDs and MP3s over the years, you can also use Spotify to play any existing music files stored on your chosen device. This saves you from having to manage multiple music libraries and media players.

What devices is Spotify compatible with?

Spotify supports an extensive range of devices, from phones and computers to smart watches and car stereos.

On a PC or Mac, you can stream with Spotify either by using the Spotify web player or by downloading the desktop app. For listening to music on-the-go, you can download the iOS app for iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches running iOS 8.0 or later; or you can grab the Android app for Android smartphones and tablets.

LG, Samsung and Philips smart TVs can also access Spotify through an app available on their respective app stores. Alternatively, you can stream to any TV through Google Chromecast using either the iOS or Android mobile app. Finally, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners can download their own version of the Spotify app through PlayStation music.

In addition to the above devices, Spotify can stream to a number of Wi-Fi-enabled devices through Spotify Connect. Spotify maintains a list of Spotify-Connect-compatible devices on its website, including a range of smart watches, Wi-Fi speakers, streaming boxes, and even a few modern cars. Unfortunately, Spotify Connect is only available to paid Spotify subscribers.

One last thing you'll want to remember: for as many devices as Spotify supports, it'll only let you stream music to one device at a time. If you start playing a song on a second device, the first one will automatically stop streaming.

Looking for something to stream your Spotify music on? Check out these streaming devices

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How much does Spotify cost?

Spotify offers two main tiers of subscription: Spotify Free and Spotify Premium.

Spotify Free

A free Spotify subscription gets you access to all 35 million+ tracks available on Spotify, with the main drawback being the inclusion of ads that play between every couple of songs. Free users are able to create and share playlists, follow friends and discover new music on all compatible devices.

Using Spotify on-the-go comes with a few restrictions for free users, however. You can't select one particular song to play through the mobile app; instead, you must pick a playlist, an album or an artist and select shuffle play, which will serve up the tracks in a random order. Additionally, you can only skip up to six tracks per hour.

Spotify Premium

For $11.99 a month, Spotify Premium removes all the ads from the free version of Spotify and improves the sound quality to a maximum bitrate of 320kbps. With a Premium subscription, you can also download songs and play them offline. When playing music on your mobile device, you won't have to worry about shuffle play or skip restrictions; you can play any song on-demand and change tracks as often as you like.

Spotify also offers two alternative Premium subscriptions: Spotify Premium for Family, and Spotify Premium for students. The Family option gets you all the same perks as Premium with the ability to add up to six family members (they must all reside at the same address) to the one subscription, all for $17.99 per month. For musically-inclined households, it's an easy way to save a decent chunk of change.

The last option, Spotify for students, is simply a discounted rate of $5.99 a month for users enrolled at a valid educational institution. Once Spotify has verified that you are an active student, you'll be able to enjoy the discounted rate for a maximum of four years provided you are still an eligible student for that entire period.

Can I try Spotify Premium for free?

If you haven't tried Spotify Premium before, you can sign up for a 30-day trial of the service on the Spotify website. Just bear in mind that you'll need to provide your payment details at sign-up, and you'll be automatically charged the going Spotify Premium rate if you don't cancel your trial before the 30 days are up.

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18 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JJune 10, 2019

    I authorised Spotify for one month at $11.99 for the month of April 2019 . I have enjoyed making my music selection and have now been charged for May and June 2019 whilst listening to the music I am still receiving advertisements is this correct. I was wondering if I could organise Spotify for 12 months without advertisements interrupting my selection of music I am not sure after reading all Spotify information if it is possible and I would like to know the cost Regards JM

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiJune 11, 2019Staff

      Hi J L,

      Thanks for your inquiry!

      It’s good to know that you tried Spotify for a month.

      The $11.99 you are paying for a month is Spotify Premium and you should not be receiving ads. Check your account and see what plan you are registered on.

      Bear in mind that you’ve provided your payment details at sign-up, and you’ll be automatically charged the on-going Spotify rate if you don’t cancel before your due date.

      If you receive a charge after canceling, here are a few possible reasons why:

      If you cancel around your usual billing date, it’s possible your next payment was already processed. You shouldn’t receive any further charges.
      Tip: Check your subscription status to check that the cancelation was successful and when your Premium will expire.

      You may have another account that’s active on Premium. This guide will help you find and cancel it.
      If you subscribed through any other company than Spotify (for example your mobile or broadband company), you need to contact that company for help.

      You can set up your Spotify with no ads by subscribing to Premium monthly for $11.99. There are no annual fees at the moment.

      Hope this clarifies!

      With care,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    LynJune 10, 2019

    My son bought me spotify as a birthday present. I cannot get on to the device. Gather there is a monthly fee involved. He must have previously paid. I have been using music for 12 months. I now cannot connect to the device in the kitchen. Money must have run out. How do I pay it.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiJune 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Lyn,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Spotify is paid via a linked debit/credit card and is automatically debited every month. If you are having difficulties playing music, try to see if your account is on FREE Spotify. This means you won’t be able to gain full access to the app and you will be hearing ads while using it. Also, try to check your internet connection, as this might be one problem.

      You can continue using the app by going to Account Settings and registering a payment method to the account.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    DarrylFebruary 6, 2019

    Can you find and download a complete album for an artist and then play the album back when offline and not connected to the internet?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 12, 2019Staff

      Hi Darryl,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      The answer to your question is yes. You can download songs from Spotify and play them without an Internet connection. However, you would need to have a premium Spotify account for this to happen. You also need to connect Spotify at least once in 30 days to keep your songs.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  4. Default Gravatar
    BrianJanuary 24, 2019

    I have Spotify Premium and am still receiving ads – how can I get rid of the ads

    • Default Gravatar
      EllieJanuary 29, 2019

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      You may simply log out your Spotify account and then log in again. Also, please check that you are log in with the right account.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Ellie

  5. Default Gravatar
    GaryDecember 19, 2018

    I just purchased spotify premium want to add to my ipad but my wife has her free account already on ipad, how do i get my account on as well without disrupting hers?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Gary,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      At this moment in time, there is no feature in Spotify to have 2 accounts logged in where you could switch from one account to another. This might happen in the future once an upgrade on it has been created. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  6. Default Gravatar
    LouNovember 4, 2018

    Will Alexa play an artist when asked? As at the moment, it won’t recognise any streaming service and I have to play anything manually from my phone.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 18, 2018Staff

      Hi Lou,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Upon checking, Alexa responds to voice commands such as “Play [artist].” There are a few things that might hinder you from using this feature. Make sure that your words are clear. Moreover, make sure as well that the artist is available in your My Music. If the problem persists, it would be a good idea to directly get in touch with Amazon and check if your device has a problem.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  7. Default Gravatar
    StephenAugust 25, 2018

    I travel offshore frequently. Is Spotify app portable to operate in other countries?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Since you travel frequently, a Spotify Premium will work abroad. You can stream songs on the go or download them so they’re available offline. You’ll continue to use your data when using Spotify abroad, unless you set Spotify to offline mode

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  8. Default Gravatar
    PhilOctober 9, 2017

    I would like to get Spotify Premium on my IPad but wondering if I can link the same package to my Apple laptop and iPhone for the one monthly fee
    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MattOctober 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for your question. Yes you can! One Spotify Premium account can be used across multiple devices, so you’d be able to listen on your iPad, your Apple laptop and your iPhone for a single monthly fee.

      I hope this helps!

      Regards,

      Matt

    • Default Gravatar
      DaveJanuary 4, 2018

      Can me and my wife both have the one account on our phones and home devices?
      Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MattJanuary 4, 2018Staff

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your question. While you and your wife can indeed share the same account across multiple devices, you’ll only be able to play music on any one of those devices at a time. For instance, if you started playing a song on your phone and then your wife tried to play a song on her phone, your phone would automatically stop playing before your wife’s started.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Matt

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