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More than 420 million people listen to music and podcasts through Spotify at least once a month, and the Swedish company now has more than 180 million subscribers paying for its premium subscription across 183 markets.
All of those people listened to just over 100 billion hours of music in 2021, making Spotify the world’s biggest music streaming service, with a 31 per cent share of the market. Not bad for a company that only arrived in 2006, five years after Apple introduced iTunes and the first iPod.
Although Spotify can be enjoyed for free, there are quite a few restrictions in place. While the 82 million-track music catalogue is available in full, adverts play after every few songs, and on mobile apps you can’t pick whatever song you like; instead, choosing a specific song to play is only available within specific playlists. You also can’t download music as a non-paying customer, the audio quality isn’t as high as with the premium tier, and you can only listen abroad for 14 days.
Spotify announced at the start of August that, in the coming few weeks, separate play and shuffle buttons will be added to the top of albums and playlists in the iOS and Android apps, giving premium subscribers the option to ignore Spotify’s tendency to shuffle tracks. Paying for premium also removes adverts, improves music quality and lets users download tracks, albums and playlists to their mobile devices. It also removes the restriction where it isn’t possible to simply pick a track and play it.
But, all that said, free access to tens of millions of music tracks is not to be sniffed at. So if you’re looking to cut back on your monthly expenses, we explain below how to cancel Spotify premium, and what happens when you do.
How much is Spotify Premium?
The premium tier is priced at £9.99 a month. There are discounts for students (£4.99), as well as a duo plan, where two people living together can share an account (£12.99), and a family plan to split the cost between up to six users in a household (£14.99).
How to cancel Spotify premium
Cancelling your Spotify premium subscription and reverting back to the free tier is easy. When using a PC or Android device, all you need to do is log into your account at spotify.com/account, then go to the “your plan” section and click on “change plan”.
On the next page, scroll down to “cancel Spotify” and click “cancel premium”. You will retain access to premium until your next billing date, after which your account will switch to the free tier. The good news is, any playlists you have created – and any music you have saved – will be retained. So you can still cue up your favourite playlists as normal, but adverts will play between every few tracks.
If you can’t find the option to change your plan from premium to free, this means your plan is associated with a partner company, like a mobile phone carrier that has included free Spotify premium with your contract. Once that free access to Spotify premium ends, you can switch down to the free tier by navigating to your Spotify account page, then locating the partner company’s contact link in the payments section.
How to cancel Spotify premium after signing up through Apple
If you signed up for Spotify premium through Apple’s app store using your Apple ID, then cancelling premium works differently. Instead of logging into Spotify, you need to open the settings app on your iPhone or iPad, then tap on your name at the top of the screen and tap on “subscriptions”. Find the Spotify subscription you want to cancel, tap on it, then tap on “cancel subscription”.
To cancel Spotify premium on a Mac, open the app store app then click on the sign in button (or your name if already signed in). Now click on “view information’” then scroll down to “subscriptions” click “manage” and then “edit” next to your Spotify subscription.
Those who have signed up to Spotify premium more recently might not be able to cancel this way, and instead should open the Spotify app, then tap on “settings” then “account”. From there you can tap a link to open the Spotify website and close your account there.
Alternatives to Spotify premium
Although Spotify is the biggest and most popular music streaming service, there are a lot of alternatives to consider. Apple Music works on all devices, not just Macs and iPhones, and is also priced at £9.99 a month. New customers can access a free one-month trial, or six months if you buy eligible AirPods, Beats headphones or a HomePod mini. Unlike Spotify, there is no ad-supported free tier.
There’s also Amazon music unlimited, which is priced between £7.99 and £9.99 a month, with cheaper student and shared-cost family plans also available. There are 75 million songs on tap, or two million can be accessed for free by existing Amazon prime members. Amazon also offers a single-device subscription, where music unlimited can be used on an Amazon echo or fire stick device for £3.99 a month.
Our third recommendation is YouTube music, which is an entirely separate entity to YouTube and costs £9.99 a month with student and family plans also available. There’s a one-month free trial and subscribers can download up to 50,000 songs to listen to offline.
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Want to try a video streaming service instead? Take a look at the best membership options on Netflix