Spotify is a great platform for discovering new music, creating playlists for your friends, and listening to your favorite songs and albums. But if you don’t pay for it, the user experience is extremely limited. The only way to enjoy unlimited skips, free downloads, offline listening and tons of other great features is by upgrading your Spotify account. A free account will get you in the door, but you need to pay to become a Spotify Premium subscriber to avoid the frustrating limitations of the free account.

There are ways to avoid paying full price for Spotify. So before you grab your credit card and sign up, we discuss how much Spotify Premium costs and explore how you can get it at a discount.

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Spotify’s plans explained

Spotify for free

with Spotify for freeyou can listen to anything you want on the Spotify mobile, web or desktop app, as well as on smart TVs and compatible game consoles, as long as you’re willing to put up with ads. Basic search and playback features are available, including the ability to listen to specific songs on demand (somewhat limited on the mobile app), play recent albums, and more. One downside is that you can only listen to entire albums on shuffle, which can be annoying if you’re craving a specific song on it – you’re more or less at the mercy of the randomness of the shuffle. That and you get a limit of six skips per hour. Curated playlists and offline listening are not available in the free version, as is the Radio feature.

Spotify Premium: Individual — $10 per month

Those willing to shell out a little cash can get access to a host of top-tier features, including more than 85 million ad-free songs, plus the ability to download your music directly to a device and get higher quality streaming. As a Premium user, you can also save songs for offline listening, access Spotify Radio, podcasts and watch music videos. It also removes restrictions on listening to Spotify internationally, as well as any restrictions on mobile apps. Premium Individual is available for a free trial period of one month.

Spotify Premium: Duo — $13 per month

With Spotify Duo, you can share your Spotify subscription with a friend, family member or partner under one roof. Both users get their own Spotify dashboards, along with features like collaborative playlists that you and a bunch of friends can add and edit, plus Mix it up, a playlist that’s sort of a combination of collaborative playlists and Spotify’s personalization that, uh, automatically “mixes” each user’s musical tastes (up to 10), is a sharable playlist. From a cost perspective, it’s basically two accounts for $6.50 a month each, almost a $3.50 savings each month.

Spotify Premium: Student — $5 per month

If you’re a student (you need a valid student email address), you can get a Spotify Premium subscription called Student at a discounted price. It also comes with ad-based Hulu and Showtime subscription. Just make sure you are re-register as a student after a yearor Spotify will cancel your Hulu membership and start charging you the full price of a Premium membership.

Spotify Premium: Family — $16 per month

Those with loved ones who also want to stream music may be more interested in Spotify’s family plan, which lets you have up to six people on one account. It also comes with multiple parental control options and Spotify Kids, a separate app aimed at kids. You get the full features of the service, including the aforementioned Blend and collaborative playlists. Again, volume is everything. Six accounts individually will cost $60 per month.

Spotify deals

Spotify sometimes offers extensive marketing offers for its Premium services, which usually offer a certain number of free months of Premium. A current deal with Xbox allows players to get four months of Spotify Premium for free when they subscribe Game Pass Ultimate — but only if they don’t already have a Spotify account.

Other deals are much more limited. Right now, in the summer of 2022, you can get one month of Spotify Premium for free just by signing up.

Spotify Partner Premium Plans

Spotify also partners with some major companies to offer specific deals that can help you find discounts on the service. These deals may vary over time, but popular options include:

Walmart: If you are an avid enough Walmart shopper and already have or intend to purchase Walmart+ membership for $13 per month or $98 per year, you can enjoy six months of free Spotify Premium. The only caveat is that you can’t already have a Spotify Premium account before.

Starbucks employees: Starbucks is among the employers that offer their employees or “partners” a Spotify Premium Account Free.

PayPal: As with the Walmart offer, if you don’t already have a Premium account, you can register a PayPal account and earn three months of free Spotify Premium.

Important note

Spotify prices may vary from country to country and sometimes prices are not equivalent in local currency. For example, in 2021 Spotify raised prices for its UK Individual (£10), Duo (£14), Student (£6) and Family (£17) plans, while leaving US prices the same. European countries were similarly affected. Always review your local prices and consider a reliable VPN.

Rick Astley artist page on Spotify on iPhone.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

How Spotify compares to the competition

If you’re torn between Spotify and a rival, chances are it’s Apple Music or YouTube Music. All three cost the same for their individual ad-free premium tiers at $10 per month, are about the same for their other tiers, and advertise a similar set of features, but Spotify comes out on top – at least in our opinion. Why? Because it has the best interface, an endless catalog of on-demand content, fantastic curated playlists, and a free tier (namely Spotify Free) that’s better than YouTube Music’s free plan, for those who don’t want or don’t want to position — to commit.

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