No one can argue that Spotify’s dominance is a result of chance. It isn’t happy with being the longest-running and most-subscribed streaming service in the world, and it isn’t resting on its laurels as other services – most notably from Amazon and YouTube – continue to emerge to threaten its streaming dominance.
The service is known for its inventiveness, with several new developments (or rumors of future developments) occurring on a regular basis. And now that Spotify is a publicly traded business, it is obligated to continue expanding, innovating, and retaining its market position — its shareholders will expect it.
The way we consume music has shifted dramatically in recent years, with an increasing number of individuals opting to stream rather than buy songs directly. If there’s one service that’s come to symbolize that transformation, it’s Spotify. Spotify is the most popular music streaming network in the world, with over 230 million members, 100 million of which are paying customers… unless you consider YouTube.
Spotify is many people’s first pick when looking for a streaming solution because of its comprehensive and clear user experience, regardless of the platform you use it on, but how does it compare?
Editor’s note: On November 2, 2021, this Spotify review was updated to include additional information regarding Apple Music lossless audio and new graphics showcasing Spotify’s features and UI.
What’s the best way to obtain a Spotify subscription?
Spotify is simple to obtain, whether you pay for it or not. Apps are available for every store and operating system, including Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Simply go to the website or the play store for your device and download the app and install it. Nonetheless, all you have to do to use the service is register an account or link to a Google or Facebook account. If you don’t want to deal with another app, you may just stream.
How much does Spotify set you back?
The money concern is generally significant in the setup of any streaming service, whether it’s for music or not. Spotify provides both free and premium options, and depending on your gadgets, you may never have to pay a thing.
You may use the entire service for free on Windows or macOS. Listen to as many songs or podcasts as you like, make infinite playlists, and make use of Spotify’s frequently excellent discovery algorithm—all it costs you is the time it takes to hear an ad or two that appears to be engineered to be as obnoxious as possible to listen to.
The free experience becomes a little more limited as you go into the mobile applications. On shuffle, you can only play preferred music playlists, and you only receive a certain number of skips every day.
Spotify’s premium service costs $9.99 per month and removes all limitations and advertisements. The mobile interface is more similar to the desktop version, and a number of new capabilities are available.
Spotify offers several premium subscription options depending on where you reside. For $12.99 per month, you can obtain two premium accounts with a Duo membership. Premium Duo is currently accessible in 55 locations, including the United States, India, and others, as of July 1, 2020. For $14.99 per month, a family subscription allows for up to six accounts. You can also obtain a student discount if you’re a full-time student at a university, bringing your monthly total down to $4.99.
Which kind of music did you listen to on Spotify?
Spotify isn’t only about music; it also offers one of the largest music and spoken-word content collections.
Spotify’s music library is massive, with over 50 million tunes to choose from, according to the firm. There’s a strong chance you’ll discover it, whether it’s today’s top pop tunes or a niche band from your city that only issued an EP a few years ago. Even renowned groups like Prince and The Beatles, who are notoriously protective of their musical rights, have joined the program.
Non-English music might be a little more difficult to get by, but most famous performers will most certainly be available on the site. There’s a lot of Francophone music to choose from in Canada, and up-and-coming international performers like Mdou Moctar were easy to find.
Spotify Premium offers 320kbps Ogg Vorbis streaming, but free tier only supports Ogg Vorbis at 160kbps. introduced a new subscription tier, HiFi, on February 22, 2021. The only thing we know about HiFi is that it will support lossless music playback, pitting it against Amazon Music HD, Qobuz, and Tidal HiFi. Apple Music added some spice to the mix when it revealed lossless playback up to 24bit at 192kHz.
Spotify also features a large range of podcasts in addition to music. If you download an episode from iTunes or Google Podcasts, it’s likely that it’ll be accessible to stream on Spotify as well. Whether you’re looking for mainstream hits like Serial or WTF with Marc Maron, live play podcasts like Critical Role and the Adventure Zone, or explainers like Twenty Thousand Hertz and Reply All, all of the major podcasts are available.
When streamed through Ogg Vorbis, the quality of a podcast is comparable to 96kbps. When you utilize the online player, which supports 128kbps audio playback, the quality improves significantly.
Spotify even began adding comics to its library for a brief period of hope. The addition of six Archie motion comics to the site, however, turned out to be a promotion for the CW’s Riverdale, which was done in collaboration with Nerdist. They’re still available to watch/read, but don’t expect to see Superman or Captain America anytime soon.
If you’re in the mood for some comics, there are a slew of written Marvel podcasts to choose from, including the outstanding Wolverine: The Long Night series.
What’s it like to listen to music on Spotify?
Spotify is surprisingly simple to use, given the amount of content it provides. Everything is well put out on the desktop app. On the left, there are three primary navigation options: Home, Browse, and Radio. You may navigate through the various sections of the Your Library and Your playlists sections beneath that. That’s all there is to navigating; now let’s have a peek at what you’ll find in each area.
A typical landing page for any service, such as Spotify, is available under the Home section. Popular, official playlists including huge songs in popular genres like hip-hop and country, as well as the biggest singles for the nation you’re streaming from, may be found there. If you go down below that, you’ll find a sprinkling of algorithmically created playlists of songs you’ve loved and listened to a lot, as well as listings of what you’ve been listening to recently on the Home page. After that, there are fresh playlists and artist suggestions based on your listening habits, as well as recommendations based on your friends’ listening habits.
The Home page, whether on mobile or desktop, effectively summarizes your Spotify experience, with a bit of what you have and a little of what you might be looking for.
The Browse tab is equally uncomplicated. There are options to search for music by genre, release date, popularity, and more at the top of the website. The primary Browse page immediately offers a variety of categories, ranging from genres such as rock, hip-hop, and K-pop to moods such as relaxing, supper, and summer. The mobile app combines all of Browse’s features into a single search tab, but it still works in the same way, with thumbnails for genres and moods. Until you get to the Discover page, everything is relatively self-explanatory.
One of Spotify’s most intriguing features is Discover, which grows better the more you use it. Discover is essentially where all of Spotify’s algorithm-based suggestions live. There are several lists of artists and albums produced based on what you’re listening to on the website. Releases Radar is a weekly update that collects new releases from all of the musicians you’ve selected to Favorite. The Discovering Weekly playlist, which appears at the top of the web page, is the crown jewels of Spotify recommendation engine. Every week, the playlist is updated with new tracks based on your suggestions, all in one spot.
The Discover Weekly playlist has evolved from apparently random recommendations to an invaluable tool for discovering new music throughout the course of my lengthy time using Spotify. This, however, is contingent on listening to a wide range of music over a lengthy period of time. People who listen only to Lamb of God, Iron Maiden, and a sprinkling of Euro house music, and find Discover utterly worthless, are just as numerous as those who listen strictly to Lamb of God, Iron Maiden, and a smattering of Euro house music and find Discover completely useless.
If you already know what you enjoy and aren’t seeking for anything else, Discover is unlikely to be of any use to you. You may always utilize the search tool to locate the bands you’re looking for—reliable it’s and won’t let you down. For the rest of us, a little effort in compiling a listening history can pay off handsomely.
The Radio component performs similarly to other music streaming radio features, and it may be just as effective for discovering new music as the Discover tab. Playlists of music similar to the songs and artists you’ve recently listened to are displayed on this page. So, if you’re looking for music that sounds similar to what you’re already listening to, this is a wonderful place to start.
Spotify also produces radio stations based on every song, album, artist, and playlist on its site. So, if you’re listening to Bon Iver and want to discover comparable artists, use the artist radio feature. Also, if you’re making a playlist with a specific feel and want to locate additional songs that suit that vibe, the playlist radio option might help you out.
Your Personal Library
The section Your Library is precisely what it says on the tin. Every song on the service has a small heart icon next to its name, which when clicked takes you to your Liked Songs page. For whatever reason, Spotify changed this page—it used to be called Your Songs—but it still works. The Albums, Podcasts, and Artists pages work similarly to the Liked Songs page, except for albums, podcasts, and artists—surprise, surprise.
The Local Files tab is also in the Your Library area, and it allows you to listen to songs you’ve downloaded outside of Spotify using Spotify’s interface. This is presently only available on the desktop software, but according to a leak from December 2020, it will soon be available on mobile as well.
All of the playlists you’ve made, as well as those you’ve added to your collection, are housed under the playlists area.
It’s simple to make a playlist—just click the New Playlist button, give it a name, and you’re done. In the desktop app, the button is on the left, while in the mobile app, it’s at the top of the Your Library tab. After that, all you have to do is right-click a song or press the three dots next to its name to add it to your playlist. It’s just as simple to add someone else’s playlist to your library: navigate to the playlist, press the three dots next to the name, and choose Add to Library in the desktop app or Follow on mobile. You may even store a playlist to your phone’s home screen for even faster access while on the go.
Spotify has a social networking component. You may follow your friends’ profiles and see their public playlists as well as their live listening activity, which includes the name of the playlist or album they’re now listening to. If you find the idea of broadcasting your listening activities unsettling, you may disable it.
You may also create collaborative playlists if you want to make a playlist with another person or people. Anyone may submit music to the playlist as long as they have the playlist’s link.
Concerts coming up
It’s simple to keep track of upcoming performances for any musicians you follow on Spotify. Go to “browse” in the desktop program. Then, on the right header, pick “concerts,” which is the furthest tab. The following window displays a list of nearby concerts in chronological order. The date, time, and location of a certain concert may be found by clicking on it. The “find tickets” button launches your normal browser, allowing you to purchase tickets on the spot. It’s a little clumsy, but it gets the job done and is a terrific way to obtain a bird’s eye view of impending events.
Is it possible to use Spotify on many platforms?
Spotify, as I previously stated, works on about every device imaginable, from your laptop to your phone to your Playstation 4. If you’re a paid subscriber (more on that later), the mobile app may do all of the same functions as the desktop version, and the two can frequently operate together. A Devices Available button lies immediately to the right of the playing controls in any version of Spotify, allowing you to choose between whichever devices are presently running the app using your account.
You can only listen to music on one device at a time, but that’s not always a negative thing. If you’re standing across the room from your computer and want to change the song, you may use the app on your phone as a remote. It’s a little gimmicky, but it’s useful if you’re in a hurry—or if you want to prank someone in another room.
Is Spotify Premium a good investment?
Upgrade to premium, depending on how you plan to use Spotify, might provide a considerable increase in your experience. Premium unlocks a slew of extra features, including 320Kbps streaming, music downloads for offline listening, and, of course, unlimited ad-free music streaming.
To be honest, that sounds a little light for $9.99. If you mostly listen to Spotify on your computer, getting rid of the advertising is perhaps the most compelling argument to upgrade to premium. The true value is found on the mobile side.
|STREAMING SERVICE||MAX STREAMING QUALITY||SUPPORTED FORMATS|
|Qobuz||24bit / 192kHz||AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV, WMA Lossless|
|Amazon Music HD||24bit / 192kHz||FLAC|
|Tidal HiFi||24bit / 192kHz||AAC, ALAC, FLAC, MQA|
|Deezer HiFi||16bit / 44.1kHz||FLAC|
|Google Play Music||320kbps||AAC, ALAC, FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA|
|Spotify Premium||320kbps||AAC, Ogg Vorbis|
|Apple Music||24bit / 192kHz||AAC|
|YouTube Music Premium||256kbps||AAC|
In a nutshell, Spotify’s free mobile app stinks. You can listen to music online without any problems, but you have very little control over the songs you hear. Shuffle mode is locked on playlists and your favourite songs list, and you can only skip songs a few times every hour. The restricted skips wouldn’t be so bad if you were simply listening to a favorite album, but when everything is on shuffle, you never know when a song you don’t want to hear may come up. Furthermore, the commercials are downright intolerable to listen to, with automobile horns being dubbed over by “you should purchase premium.”
A paid membership improves the mobile app’s compatibility with the desktop version. The program has all of the standard controls for music and song selection, as well as the extra capabilities stated above. In reality, such functions, especially the ability to download tunes, are extremely handy on mobile devices.
Premium is especially handy for runners and other outdoor exercisers who don’t have an unlimited data plan because they can download music instead of streaming them over a mobile network. Because it’s rare for computers, even laptops, to go for long periods of time without an internet connection, the inability to download music on the desktop version isn’t as significant.
|DIGITAL SERVICE PROVIDER||$ PER STREAM|
|24/7 Entertainment GmbH||$0.01050|
|Amazon Digital Services Inc.||$0.00395|
|YouTube Content ID||$0.00028|
Furthermore, if you value your favorite artists, Spotify pays significantly more per-stream when the person listening is a premium subscriber. That can mean a lot, depending on how much (or how little) Spotify pays each stream on average.
Should you subscribe to Spotify?
There are several streaming services fighting for your attention these days. Apple Music, which now enables lossless audio, is gradually displacing iTunes, whereas Spotify HiFi is nowhere to be seen. If you’re searching for something more visual, even YouTube has a service. Spotify, on the other hand, continues to be the greatest value available. Its playlist sharing and collaboration capabilities are more robust and user-friendly than those offered by its competitors. Premium members get access to no-ad streaming, as well as a slew of other useful features.
The question, in my opinion, isn’t whether you should acquire Spotify at all—a that’s given—but whether paying for Premium is worthwhile. If you’re primarily a PC user, many of the premium features won’t add much value to your experience. It all depends on your level of ad aversion.
If you’re primarily a mobile user, a premium subscription’s value proposition improves dramatically. On a good day, the free edition of Spotify for mobile is annoying, but Premium takes it to the next level. While paying to obtain the same experience on mobile that you can get for free on a PC isn’t ideal, it’s difficult to be angry about a service as fantastic as Spotify Premium.
Spotify received a patent in January 2021 that allows it to capture user voice and utilize the information to provide music recommendations. Many individuals have spoken out against the patent, arguing that it is a violation of privacy; however, Spotify has indicated that it has no intentions to use the patent’s technology at this time. Here’s the link to our comprehensive article on the subject.
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28 january 2021 / At 12:52 PM (GMT)
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Is it possible to listen to playlists when offline?
Yes, you must activate offline listening for each playlist you wish to listen to when you don’t have access to the Internet. If you enable specific songs or albums for offline listening, you may play any of your playlists including those songs, and the Spotify player will simply skip any tracks you haven’t set for offline listening.
Why do Spotify advertisements have to be so obnoxious? If I had an option, I’d rather mix my ears than use Spotify again.
Spotify adverts are designed to be terrible to listen to in order to get you to pay for Spotify Premium. It’s quite irritating, but it’s typically successful. If you’re still undecided, read our Spotify Free vs Spotify Premium comparison. It compares and contrasts the two versions of the service, including all of the obnoxious advertisements.
Is it possible for artists to request that their songs be included in my suggested music?
No, it’s not true. Spotify has introduced a new tool that allows artists to specify which of their songs they wish to be prioritized for inclusion in user algorithms. This doesn’t guarantee that their music will be included in your algorithm, and there’s nothing an artist can do about it. If Spotify’s algorithm picks that artist for your suggested music, it’s just highlighting one song over another. This technology is merely another gear in Spotify’s algorithmic engine, and it’s now only available for Spotify Radio and Autoplay.
What’s it like to use Spotify as an artist?
Spotify for Artists is a free tool provided to musicians who upload their songs to Spotify. It allows artists to personalize their profiles, analyze listener data, submit releases for consideration on Spotify editorial playlists, and more. It features a user-friendly design and is particularly useful for building a fan base.
How can I receive a Google Nest Mini for free when I subscribe to Spotify Premium?
If you reside in Canada, you may get a free Google Nest Mini with your Spotify Premium membership, whether it’s Premium Individual, Premium Student, Premium Family, or Premium Duo, until September 30, 2020. To claim your gift, simply go to Spotify’s website. The catch, if you’re wondering, is that there isn’t one. Spotify and Google appear to have partnered to encourage more Canadians to subscribe to Spotify Premium.
Is there a top charts area on Spotify?
Yes. In the Browse part of Spotify, there is a Charts page that lists top songs by country as well as viral music by country. Every song in each of these playlists includes a sign that indicates whether it is a new song, one that is trending upwards, or one that is trending downwards.