How Much Is Spotify Premium? All Tiers & Pricing Explained in Detail

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If you love music, chances are you‘ve heard about Spotify – the popular streaming service that gives you access to over 70 million songs and 3 million podcasts from all your favorite artists.

But you may be wondering: how much does it cost to upgrade to Spotify Premium?

In this comprehensive guide from a streaming expert, I‘ll explain Spotify‘s pricing in detail so you can decide if Premium is worth it for you. I‘ve got the breakdown on all of Spotify‘s paid subscription tiers, discounts, and bundles so you can find the perfect plan to suit your listening needs and budget.

Let‘s dive in!

How Does Spotify Pricing Work for Non-Paying Users?

First, it‘s important to understand what you get with Spotify‘s free, ad-supported base tier before looking at paid Premium options.

Anyone can sign up for a free Spotify account instantly. All you need is an internet connection and a device like a computer, phone, or tablet to get started.

The Spotify free tier gives you access to their full music catalog and podcast library. However, there are some big catches:

  • You have to listen with ads interrupting your music
  • You can only listen in shuffle mode instead of playing whatever song you want
  • There‘s a limited number of skips per hour
  • Audio quality maxes out at 160kbps streams (vs 320kbps for Premium)
  • You can‘t download songs for offline listening
  • Less control over what songs play on curated playlists

The free ad-supported tier is great for casual listeners who don‘t mind not having full control. But for music lovers who want more, Spotify Premium brings some major upgrades.

Now let‘s dig into exactly what Premium costs…

How Much is a Standard Spotify Premium Subscription?

The basic Spotify Premium Individual Plan costs $9.99 per month in the United States and provides you with:

  • Ad-free listening – No more frustrating audio or video ads interrupting your music!
  • On-demand playback – Listen to any artist, album, or song on demand instead of being forced into shuffle mode.
  • Unlimited skips – Don‘t like this song? Skip it as many times as you want!
  • High quality audio – Streaming bumps up from 160kbps on free to 320kbps on Premium.
  • Offline listening – Download your favorite playlists and songs for offline listening anytime.
  • No commitment – Cancel your subscription anytime with no penalty.

Looking at the numbers, a standard $9.99 Premium subscription breaks down to just $0.34 per day. Compare that to the cost of buying individual songs or albums, and you can see why millions of people find the unlimited, on-demand access extremely valuable.

But what if you want to use Spotify Premium across multiple devices or share it with family? Keep reading for more pricing details…

How Much Does Spotify Premium Cost for Students?

Being a student often means living on a tight budget. That‘s why Spotify offers a big 50% discount on Premium for university students in the U.S.

The Student Premium plan costs just $4.99 per month – half the standard price.

Students can verify their enrollment status through SheerID. Once verified, you can start enjoying Premium‘s perks like:

  • Ad-free listening
  • On-demand playback
  • Offline downloads
  • Mobile app access

This discounted Student Premium price is available for up to 4 years or until graduation, whichever comes first.

Considering most students blow way more than $5 a month at the campus coffee shop, this is an incredible deal on access to millions of songs to power late night study sessions.

How Much Are Spotify Family and Duo Plans?

Let‘s say you want to share Spotify Premium with your family members or a friend. Does it get any cheaper than paying for multiple Individual plans?

Absolutely! Spotify offers both Premium Duo and Premium Family options that provide account upgrades for multiple people at a discounted price:

  • Spotify Premium Family – $15.99/month for up to 6 Premium accounts per family
  • Spotify Premium Duo – $12.99/month for 2 Premium accounts for couples or friends

These plans give members their own personalized Premium account to stream from different devices simultaneously.

With Spotify Premium Family, the account owner manages each family member‘s access through the master account and gets enhanced parental controls like Spotify Kids.

Looking at the numbers, if you max out a 6-person Family plan, the per person cost drops to just $2.66 per month – an unbelievable deal!

However, Spotify‘s terms of service technically prohibit sharing outside of a single household. More on that next…

Can Friends Share Spotify Family Plans?

You might be wondering – can I join up with friends to share a Family Plan and save money?

The answer is technically no, Spotify prohibits Family Plan sharing among non-family. Their terms state Family Plans are strictly for families residing at the same address.

That said, Spotify acknowledges that enforcement is a challenge. Some people do successfully split the cost of a Family Plan with friends or roommates without issue. But there is a risk your accounts could be terminated if Spotify detects non-family sharing.

The safest and most compliant option is sticking with Premium Duo if you want to share the cost with a friend or partner without violating terms.

How Much is an Annual Spotify Premium Subscription?

Rather than paying monthly, you can save some money by prepaying annually for Spotify Premium.

When billed annually upfront, a full year of Spotify Premium costs $99. That breaks down to just $8.25 per month – a nice discount of almost 17% compared to paying monthly!

Here‘s a comparison of annual vs monthly Spotify Premium pricing:

Plan Monthly Price Annual Price
Premium Individual $9.99/month $99/year ($8.25/month)
Premium Student $4.99/month $59/year ($4.92/month)
Premium Family $15.99/month $159/year ($13.25/month)

The annual subscription gives you access to the exact same features, just at a lower monthly rate when you commit upfront to using Premium for one full year.

Note that the discounted annual price is only available for new Premium subscribers, not existing ones.

How Can You Get Spotify Premium Free or Discounted?

We just covered the main paid Spotify Premium options, but believe it or not there are actually a few ways you may be able to score Premium for free or at a discount:

  • Some wireless carriers like AT&T offer free Spotify Premium with certain unlimited data plans. Check your carrier‘s perks!
  • Premium for free through work or school if they partner with Spotify
  • Special targeted new subscriber deals that offer 1 month to 3 months free.
  • Occasional referral bonuses like a free month for you and friend.
  • Chasing cardmember perks that provide free Spotify for some customers
  • Discounted gift cards when on sale on occasion
  • Perks for new device bundles e.g. buy Samsung S22, get Spotify Premium free for 6 months

It takes some hunting, but with the right promotion you may be able to snag a serious discount or even free access for a period of time!

Comparing Spotify Premium vs. Apple Music, YouTube Music, etc.

Now that you know Spotify‘s pricing inside and out, how does it compare to competitors like Apple Music or YouTube Music?

Here‘s an overview of how the standard $9.99 individual plan pricing stacks up to the other major players:

Service Individual Plan Pricing Student Discount? Annual Discount?
Spotify Premium $9.99/month 50% off $99/year
Apple Music $9.99/month n/a n/a
YouTube Music Premium $9.99/month 50% off n/a
Amazon Music Unlimited $7.99/month 50% off $79/year
Tidal HiFi $19.99/month 50% off n/a

The key takeaway here is that Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music all cost the same per month for an individual plan at $9.99. Apple offers no special discounts, while Spotify edges out the competition by also providing their annual subscription deal.

The biggest outlier is Tidal HiFi at a premium $20/month price, but you get lossless CD-quality music. We‘ll explore Tidal‘s tiers more next…

Does Spotify Offer Lossless, High-Fidelity Audio?

One clear advantage some competing services like Tidal and Amazon Music Unlimited have over Spotify is that they offer lossless, high-fidelity audio streaming for premium sound quality.

Currently, the maximum audio bitrate quality on Spotify Premium is 320kbps streams. While very good, audiophiles may be able to notice a slight difference compared to true lossless CD-quality audio.

However, Spotify is planning to launch a new Spotify HiFi tier soon that will offer lossless, high-fidelity streams for the ultimate listening experience.

Spotify HiFi pricing is still TBD, but is rumored to cost an additional $5 – $10 per month based on Tidal‘s premium pricing. We‘ll have to wait for an official announcement from Spotify for more details.

Expert Tips for Saving on Spotify Premium

If you want to upgrade to Spotify Premium affordably, here are my top insider tips:

  • Choose annual billing – Prepay annually to save ~17% compared to paying monthly.

  • Verify student status – Students save 50% off Premium ($4.99/month is unbeatable).

  • Split a Family Plan – Carefully split a Family Plan up to 6 ways to pay as little as $2.66/month per person.

  • Look for free trial promotions – Occasional targeted offers provide 1 month to 3 months free Premium access.

  • Consider buying a discounted Premium gift card – When on sale these can provide several months at a discount.

  • Use a credit card with free Spotify Perks – Certain cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve provide complimentary Spotify with qualifying plans.

The Bottom Line on Spotify Premium Cost

At the end of the day, a Spotify Premium subscription provides incredible value compared to the alternative of paying per album or song. Unlimited on-demand access to 70+ million songs for under $10 a month is an unbeatable deal.

While Premium pricing may seem high up front, it breaks down to just ~$0.34 per day – basically the cost of a single song on iTunes or Amazon Music!

No matter which Premium tier you choose, going ad-free and unlocking mobile downloads takes your listening experience to the next level. And with student discounts, annual billing, and Family Plan sharing, you can enjoy Premium affordably.

I hope breaking down the pricing in detail helps you decide if Spotify Premium will be worth it for your listening habits. Feel free to ask me any other questions – I‘m always happy to chat music tech!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.