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With over 400 million users every month and 82 million music tracks, plus podcasts, Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming platform.
Of those near half-billion users, around 180 million pay a monthly fee to access Spotify Premium. Not bad for a company that only launched in 2006, a half-decade after Apple introduced iTunes and the iPod.
Upgrading from the free tier of Spotify unlocks a wide range of extra features, and gets rid of annoying adverts that otherwise play after every few tracks.
Spotify Premium can be paid for in a few different ways, and some monthly smartphone contracts include the streaming service for free, at least for the first year after a new customer signs up. There’s also a discounted rate for students that lasts for up to three years, and plans designed to split the cost between a couple with an account each, or a family with up to six accounts between them.
Here is everything you need to know about Spotify Premium, including what features it offers and how much it costs in both the UK and US.
What is Spotify Premium?
Spotify Premium is a paid-for tier of the music-streaming service. It gives users access to the same massive catalogue of songs as the free tier, but changes a lot when it comes to how those tracks, albums and playlists can be accessed and enjoyed. The single biggest difference is how there are no adverts with Spotify Premium, as there are after every few tracks with the free tier.
Subscribing to Spotify Premium also lets you download any songs, albums and playlists you want to listen to offline. You can also play any song you like, at any time – compared to the free tier, when a playlist can be cued up, but you usually cannot pick a specific song to play. The company describes this Premium feature as “on-demand playback”.
The streaming service also 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. This will give premium subscribers the option to ignore Spotify’s tendency to shuffle tracks. It should also please artists like Adele, who criticised Spotify for not playing the tracks of her latest album, 30, in the correct order.
How much is Spotify Premium in the UK?
Upgrading from the free tier to Spotify Premium currently costs £9.99 per month. Currently, Spotify is offering a deal where customers who are new to Premium can get their first three months for free before paying £9.99 for subsequent months. You’ll be billed on a rolling monthly basis, so you can be cancel your subscripton at any time, with the service terminating on the user’s next scheduled billing date.
For a couple who live together and want to share the same Spotify account (but want to listen to different music at the same time), there’s Spotify Duo. This costs £13.99 a month, so is £6 a month cheaper than the two people each paying for their own account. Duo has the same features as a regular Premium account, including ad-free listening, downloading, and on-demand playback.
Above this, a Family account is priced at £16.99 a month and allows up to six people living in the same property to listen to their own music simultaneously. The Family account also has a tool for blocking explicit content, which can be handy for parents who want to control what their children listen to, and there’s a separate app available for kids, predictably called Spotify Kids.
Lastly, students can take out a Spotify Student subscription, which costs £5.99 a month and is available for students currently at university or another accredited higher education institution. This works just the same as a regular Premium account, and can be renewed for up to three years, thus covering the typical length of a degree course.
How much is Spotify Premium in the US?
It isn’t quite a case of swapping the £ and $ signs, as while Premium is priced at £9.99 and $9.99, the other tiers are converted slightly differently.
Spotify Duo is $12.99 a month in the US, Family is $15.99 a month and Student is $4.99 a month. These all come with a one-month free trial. They do work in exactly the same way as the UK price tiers mentioned above though. All except Spotify Student that is, which also includes access to an ad-support Hulu plan, and the Showtime streaming service, both of which are unavailable in the UK.
How many devices can use Spotify Premium at once?
Just the one. Only Duo and Family subscriptions allow for multiple devices to stream music simultaneously. If a Premium subscriber is streaming music on their phone, for example, when someone else logs into the account and starts a playlist on their laptop, the first person’s music will stop.
However, music can be played from several speakers at once, as long as they are all on the same Wi-Fi network and compatible with Spotify Connect. They then appear in the Spotify app, where they can be grouped together and asked to play the same content simultaneously.
How to cancel Spotify Premium
Cancelling a 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. To cancel on an iPhone, open the Settings app and navigate to your Apple ID, then “subscriptions”.
What happens if I cancel Spotify Premium?
If you want to cut back on your monthly expenses, it’s quick and easy to cancel a Spotify Premium subscription. And the good news is, doing so doesn’t delete your Spotify account.
All the playlists you have created will remain in place, but you won’t be able to play music offline (or download any more), adverts will play after every few tracks, and you won’t be able to play on-demand. You can still cue up a playlist, but when going back to the free tier you can no longer pick and play tracks at random.
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Want to try a video streaming service instead? Take a look at the best membership options on Netflix