Unlike Apple Music, Spotify offers a free, ad-supported version of its service, which poses the question: should you pay to listen? In addition to removing the ads that interrupt your music-streaming enjoyment, there are five good reasons to pony up $10 a month for Spotify Premium.
No more shuffle-only mode
The biggest reason to upgrade if you use Spotify’s mobile app on your phone is the ability to play any song you want. With the free version, you are forced to listen in shuffle mode on your phone, which makes Spotify feel no different than Pandora, where you can choose a song but then listen not to that song but only songs similar to it. With Spotify Premium on your phone, you can, for example, end an evening with Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” without power ballads from Warrant, Whitesnake and Cinderella ruining the moment.
(Spotify’s free service does not restrict you to shuffle-only mode, it should be noted, when you are using the desktop or tablet app.)
You can skip only so many songs when listening to a shuffled selection of songs with Spotify’s free service. With Premium, you can skip as many songs as you deem necessary.
Double your bit rate pleasure
Spotify Free lets you listen at Normal (96 Kbps) or High quality (160 Kbps). Spotify Premium adds Extreme quality streaming at 320 Kbps, which can make for better, more detailed audio output if you use high-end headphones or speakers.
Want to jam out on the morning commute when you are squished in a subway car in a tunnel where there’s no cell service? Spotify Premium lets you download up to 3,333 songs so you can listen when you are away from the Internet or just want to cut down on your data usage. And you can do this on three different devices.
To download an album, playlist or podcast, just tap the Download toggle switch. You’ll see a little, green, downward arrow next to each song after it finishes downloading. Planning a big, Internet-free trip? You can download all of the songs you’ve saved to your library with one tap. Go to Your Library > Songs and tap the Download toggle switch to download all of the songs in your library — or at least the first 3,333 of them.
Connecting to a Bluetooth speaker is sometimes an exercise in frustration. With Spotify Connect, you can forgo the potentially fruitless and painful Bluetooth connection process and connect your phone running the Spotify app to Spotify Gear, from speakers and TVs to cars and computers. If you want to connect to a Wi-Fi speaker, though, you’ll need Spotify Premium, otherwise you’ll need to connect via Bluetooth or Google Cast to that speaker. Just tap Devices Available at the bottom of the Now Playing screen on your phone to see your connection options.