What is Spotify Premium? A Comprehensive Guide to Paid Features and Cost

Spotify has become the world’s most popular music streaming service, offering access to over 82 million songs and 4 billion playlists. With Spotify Premium, you unlock additional features for a paid subscription fee.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Spotify Premium. We cover the paid features, price plans, student discounts, family plans, free trials and more. Read on to understand the full value of upgrading from the free version to enjoy unlimited, ad-free music.

Overview of Spotify Premium

Spotify Premium provides an enhanced listening experience compared to the free plan. Key benefits include:

  • No advertisements – Enjoy uninterrupted music without disruptive ads.
  • High audio quality – Listen to songs in premium quality up to 320 kbps.
  • Offline listening – Download songs to play when offline.
  • Unlimited skips – Skip as many songs as you want.
  • Mobile app access – Use the mobile app with all the same features.
  • Song selection – Play any song, any time, on-demand.
  • Cross-platform access – Seamlessly switch between devices.

Premium allows you to fully unlock Spotify’s huge music catalog and personalized recommendations with maximum convenience. Keep reading as we explore the features and pricing in-depth.

Detailed Feature Comparison of Free vs Premium

Let’s closely examine how the free and Premium plans differ across the most important features:

| Feature | Free | Premium |
| Audio Quality | Up to 160 kbps | Up to 320 kbps |
| Offline Listening | No | Yes |
| Ad Experience | Periodic ads | No ads |
| Song Skips | Limited to 6 skips per hour | Unlimited |
| Mobile App | Limited features | Full access |
| Music Catalog | Full access | Full access |
| Device Restrictions | 1 device at a time | 5 devices simultaneously |
| On-Demand Playback | Shuffle only | Any song instantly |
| Hulu partnership | No | Free Hulu subscription |

The table makes it clear how upgrading to Premium lifts almost all restrictions of the free plan. Next, we’ll cover these benefits in more detail.

No Advertisements

One major annoyance with the free Spotify plan is the periodic audio and banner ads that interrupt your listening. Spotify Premium provides completely uninterrupted, ad-free music so you can fully enjoy playlists without disruption.

Many users find the freedom from advertising alone makes the subscription worthwhile.

High Audio Quality – Up to 320 kbps

While free Spotify streams songs at up to 160 kbps, the Premium plan boosts audio quality up to 320 kbps. Premium’s maximum bitrate of 320 kbps translates to crisp, CD-quality audio.

The enhanced fidelity brings out subtle nuances you may miss at lower bitrates. If you care about hearing music as purely as possible, the upgrade to Premium is essential. Lossless audio is currently not supported.

Offline Listening – Downloads for When Offline

A limitation of the free plan is the inability to listen when offline, such as when on an airplane with no WiFi. Spotify Premium lets you download songs, albums, playlists and podcasts to your mobile device so you can enjoy your favorite content anywhere without an internet connection.

Downloads are available across mobile, tablet and computer platforms. It’s an extremely useful feature for frequent travelers or commuters.

Unlimited Song Skips

Tired of being limited to only 6 skips per hour on the free plan? Spotify Premium enables unlimited song skips so you have full control over the music you hear.

Create radio stations or playlists and skip freely without any cap on how many times you can skip tracks. It’s a big upgrade in flexibility and customization.

Full Mobile App Experience

The free Spotify mobile experience is frustratingly limited compared to the desktop app. With a Premium subscription, restrictions are lifted so you can use the Spotify app to its full potential.

Control playback, make playlists, enjoy offline downloads, listen at higher quality, skip songs, and access everything just like the desktop program. A Premium mobile experience makes music much more accessible on-the-go.

Cross-Platform Access

Spotify Premium enables you to seamlessly switch between devices without losing playback progress. You can start listening on your phone then pick up where you left off on your home stereo or computer.

The cross-platform access is unlocked across mobile, tablet, computer, speakers and TV. It brings major convenience to consuming Spotify across devices.

On-Demand Playback

Unlike the free tier which forces shuffle mode, Spotify Premium lets you instantly play any track on demand like traditional music ownership. The ability to play albums and playlists in the precise order you want is a major upgrade.

In combination with unlimited skips, on-demand playback gives you complete control over the music experience.

Account Sharing – 1 Account Supports 5 Devices

A single Spotify Premium account supports 5 device logins simultaneously. This allows you to share your subscription with family members or friends in different locations by logging into multiple phones, tablets or computers on the same Premium plan.

To manage devices, log into your account online and remove any unwanted activations. You can also set a primary device which doesn’t count towards the 5 device limit. Account sharing is a nice perk for families and couples to save money.

Spotify Premium Price Plans

Now that we’ve compared the features in depth, let’s examine Spotify Premium’s pricing and subscription options:

| Plan | Monthly Price | Annual Price | Key Details |
| Individual | $9.99 | $99 | 1 Account, 1 User |
| Duo | $12.99 | $149 | 1 Account, 2 Users |
| Family | $15.99 | $179 | 1 Account, up to 6 Users |
| Student | $4.99 | $49 | 1 Account, 1 User |

These plans represent individual, duo, family and student options. Students receive a big 50% discount while families get broader account sharing.

Pressing annual billing earns you 1 or 2 months free depending on the plan. Monthly plans offer more flexibility while yearly subscriptions work out slightly cheaper.

Next, we’ll provide more details on the family plan and student discount available.

Family Plan (Up to 6 Users)

Spotify recognizes that many households want to share one account. The family plan supports up to 6 Premium account logins under a single subscription.

Each user can stream simultaneously and enjoy features like offline listening on their own devices. Account management and billing is centralized for easier administration.

At only $3 per user when maximizing 6 logins, it’s an affordable way for families to share access without each paying for an Individual plan.

Student Plan Discount

Students deserve a financial break. Spotify caters to this audience by offering Premium to students for just $4.99 per month – half the standard $9.99 Individual rate.

To qualify, you simply need to verify current enrollment at a university, college or high school. After initial verification, the discount auto-renews for up to four years to cover your entire college duration.

At just $5 per month, students should seriously consider upgrading from Spotify’s free plan. The student discount makes Premium much more affordable.

Free Trial Options

If you’re still undecided whether Spotify Premium is worth it, try a free trial first.

Spotify currently offers new users a 1-month free trial to experience the paid features before committing. To redeem, visit Spotify’s Premium signup page and register for the extended trial.

After your trial ends, you’ll automatically be billed monthly for the Individual plan if you don’t cancel. But the generous 1-month preview gives you adequate time to decide if you want to continue.

For additional free trial eligibility, you can create a new Spotify account and sign up with different contact details. Make the most of the trial offers to determine if Premium fits your listening preferences.

Quick Signup & Cancellation

Signing up for Spotify Premium is simple and straightforward:

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  1. Visit Spotify.com and click “Get Spotify Premium”
  2. Select your desired plan (Individual, Family, Student, etc)
  3. Enter payment details and start 1-month free trial
  4. Cancel anytime online to avoid billing after the trial ends

You can pay monthly by credit card or debit card. Spotify also offers PayPal and prepaid card options in some countries.

To cancel, log into your account online and visit the Your Plan page. Click “Change Plan” and then “Cancel Premium”. Confirm the cancellation and your subscription will lapse at the end of the current billing cycle. Downgraded accounts revert to the free ad-supported plan.

Review the following table for a quick pros vs cons comparison to decide if Premium is worth upgrading:

| Pros | Cons |
| No ads| Monthly/annual cost |
| Higher audio quality | Free plan still offers good features |
| Offline listening | Potentially unnecessary for casual listeners |
| Unlimited skips ||
| Improved mobile experience ||
| On-demand playback ||
| Account sharing ||

The pros seem to heavily outweigh the cons for most active music streamers. But the free plan may still suffice for less frequent listeners.

Is Spotify Premium Worth It? Final Verdict

At the affordable $9.99 per month, Spotify Premium is a high value purchase for enthusiasts who spend significant time streaming music.

The ad-free experience alone is a huge quality of life improvement. Then you have benefits like downloading songs for offline playback, listening to high fidelity audio, enjoying unlimited skips and unrestricted mobile app access.

For families, the $15.99 per month Family plan allowing 6 user accounts makes Premium sharing extremely affordable. Students receive 50% off.

Occasional streamers will likely be satisfied with the free Spotify tier. But frequent listeners who want to unlock Spotify’s full potential – especially on mobile devices – should strongly consider the paid Premium upgrade.

The free 1-month trial makes it easy to evaluate Premium firsthand before subscribing. But with access to over 82 million tracks and premium features across devices, Spotify Premium ticks all the boxes for music streaming purposes.

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