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Spotify is estimated to have 456 million monthly active listeners by the end of 2022 while 195 million are premium subscribers according to DemandSage. There are still quite a lot of listeners who are struggling with a choice - whether to subscribe to a Premium plan.

Is Spotify Premium worth it? Before you make up your mind, you might as well check out this in-depth article. This post is going to tell you the exact differences between Spotify Free vs Premium in terms of major features. You might want to take a look and sort out your mind.

Spotify Free vs. Premium


Spotify Free vs. Premium: Overview

If you're tired of reading plenty of words, there is a table for you to get a quick idea between Spotify Free vs Premium from 9 perspectives. For a detailed comparison, you may want to go on reading.

Spotify Free Spotify Premium
Price Free $9.99/month
Music Library Over 80 million songs Over 80 million songs
Best Music Quality Up to 160kbps Up to 320kbps
Ads ×
Offline Listening ×
Spotify Connect
Supported Devices The same The same
Social Features Can create share links Can share songs and listen to sharings.
Curated Content

Spotify Free vs. Premium: Features Comparison

The full comparison will be broken down into 8 parts, including Music Library, Music Quality, Ads, Offline Listening, Spotify Connect, Supported Device, Social Feature, and Curated Content. You may want to go through them one by one.

Music Library

Spotify offers one of the world's most abundant music sources. Luckily, both Spotify Free and Premium users are able to enjoy all the content on Spotify. It's mainly because the platform provides users with online streaming services rather than a single-song purchase service. Listeners can enjoy the whole music library including:

● Over 80 million songs so far.
● Over 11 million artists and creators until now on Spotify.
● 60,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every day on average.

Winner: Draw

Music Quality

One of the major differences between Spotify Premium vs Free is the streaming audio quality. On the web player, Spotify free accounts can listen to a default music quality of 128kbps in AAC audio format, but Premium subscribers can enjoy the audio quality of up to 256kbps with the AAC codec.

The difference is not that big if you use the Spotify app for mobile or desktop devices. Premium subscribers only have one more option for better sound quality - Very high, which is equivalent to 320kbps. You can check out the following table for the details.

Winner: Spotify Premium

  Spotify Free Spotify Premium
Spotify Web Player AAC 128kbps AAC 256kbps
Spotify App Automatic: Dependent on your network connection Automatic: Dependent on your network connection
Low: Equivalent to approximately 24kbps Low: Equivalent to approximately 24kbps
Normal: Equivalent to approximately 96kbps Normal: Equivalent to approximately 96kbps
High: Equivalent to approximately 160kbps High: Equivalent to approximately 160kbps
  Very high: Equivalent to approximately 320kbps

Audio Quality in Spotify


The biggest headache for regular users is that Spotify delivers annoying advertisements from time to time when streaming music. Spotify will remove all the ads and let you enjoy an ad-free listening experience once you subscribe to its Premium plan. For free users, it's thus more like an ad-based service. However, don't be frustrated. If you like using the Spotify web player, you can add the extension - Adblocker to your browser and enjoy an ad-free streaming service as well.

Winner: Draw

Offline Listening

Offline listening is an exclusive feature for Premium subscribers. Free users are able to download podcasts only, but it's possible for non-Premium users to download Spotify Music with the help of a professional tool in the Bonus Tip part. If you want to download the entire playlist or album, you'll have to subscribe to a Premium plan. Then, you'll find the Download icon inside a playlist/album.

However, you should know that you cannot download a single song at a time. Spotify enables listeners to download the whole playlist/album at once. After that, you can turn on the Offline Mode in Settings - Playback to automatically play your downloads. Yet, there are some limitations you may check out in advance.

● Listeners can download as many as 10,000 tracks on each of up to 5 different devices.
● Listeners must go online at least once every 30 days to keep the downloads.
● Free listeners can only skip 6 tracks per hour.

Winner: Spotify Premium

Spotify Connect

Spotify Connect enables users to hook up to another device from a computer or a mobile phone/tablet with ease. Listeners can literally listen everywhere with this powerful feature. However, Spotify Connect has been available for free users ever since November 2021.

Thanks to Spotify Connect, all Spotify users are able to play and listen to Spotify music on wireless devices including Smart TVs, Smart Speakers, Smart Displays, Wearables, Gaming Consoles, Car Audio, Smart Home kits, and more.

Winner: Draw

Spotify Connect

Supported Device

You can log in to your Spotify account on any supported device, be it Premium or free. Listeners can access Spotify music on its web player using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, Opera, or Safari. Or, you can download and install the Spotify app for iOS (iOS 13 or later), Android (Android OS 5.0 or later), Mac (macOS X 10.13 or later), and Windows (Windows 7 or above) to have a better experience.

Winner: Draw

Spotify on iPhone

Social Feature

Spotify allows you to connect your Spotify accounts to other platforms via app integrations. After that, you can stream and share your favorite Spotify music with your besties. Apps that can integrate with Spotify include Google Assistant, Peloton, Xbox Game Bar, Discord, Bumble, Runkeeper, Shazam, Siri, Messenger, Tinder, Twitch, and others. You can create a share link from Spotify to these platforms, but it requires Premium subscribers to listen along with friends, for example, Discord.

Winner: Spotify Premium

Curated Content

Both free and premium users can listen to Spotify music of all genres. Also, there are some curated playlists that Spotify editors pick up for you. The daily recommendations and mixed collections always bring surprises for listeners. However, if you were going abroad most of the time for work or travel, a free account would restrict you from playing Spotify music after a period of up to 14 days.

Winner: Draw

Should You Upgrade to Spotify Premium?

Now that you've gone through all the differences between Spotify Free vs Premium, do you still want to subscribe to a Premium plan on Spotify? If you want to have higher music quality, enjoy ad-free streaming, and download songs for offline playback, a Premium subscription will unlock more excellent features. Or, it's enough to remain a regular user.

Moreover, free users can block ads and listen to ad-free streaming on the Spotify web player with the adblocker extension. If you want to download some of your favorite songs, a Premium subscription is not a must if you use TuneFab Spotify Music Converter.

Spotify Premium

Bonus Tip: Download Spotify Songs Without Premium

As we've mentioned above, non-Premium users are able to download songs from Spotify with TuneFab Spotify Music Converter. This expert already defies the barrier of DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions and enables users to transcode encrypted Spotify songs to a popular audio format like MP3 with its superb decryption technology. More sparking features are listed as follows.

Spotify Free & Premium - TuneFab Spotify Music Converter works for both Spotify Free and Spotify Premium to download Spotify songs, playlists, albums, and podcasts.
Popular Output Formats - The program enables users to remove DRM restrictions and download Spotify music to MP3, M4A, FLAC, or WAV audio container format. The downloads can be played on any media player.
Lossless Audio Quality - Before you start to download Spotify music, you can set up the output audio quality to get the best out of Spotify. The tool supports lossless audio quality of up to 320kbps and 48kHz.
Batch Download - TuneFab Spotify Music Converter allows you to start as many downloads as you want. It can easily handle multiple download tasks at the same time.
High-Performance Speed - The program boasts advanced technology to accelerate the transcoding and downloading process up to 5X faster than its counterparts.
Song Info Preservation - Track details will be saved along the conversion including title, artists, Track ID, and album artwork. Listeners can easily manage all the downloads even if they download the entire Spotify library.

Thanks to its in-built Spotify web player, users are able to listen to Spotify music and download tracks to the desktop at the same time. Let's see how it works.

STEP 1. Install TuneFab Spotify Music Converter

Give it a click on the button above and install the latest version of the software onto your Windows or Mac. Then, you need to log in to the Spotify web player as you usually do in the browser. The software doesn't require Spotify Premium to download songs.

TuneFab Spotify Converter Welcome Page

STEP 2. Set up Audio Quality

Navigate to the ≡ - Preferences and you'll be able to modify the output location in the General tab. Then, switch to the Advanced tab and change the Output Format to the desired audio format. To set up lossless audio quality, you can modify both the Sample Rate and the Bitrate to the maximum.

Advanced Settings

STEP 3. Download Spotify Music without Premium

Now, go to your library for songs, playlists, or albums that you want to download from Spotify. It's easy to download a single song or the entire playlist/album as you like. After you hit the Green Plus button, the program will extract data from Spotify. Then, you should select songs and click Convert All to start downloading all your selected Spotify tracks.

Drag Songs


That's the end of Spotify Free vs Premium. To be honest, Spotify Premium doesn't surpass the free plan in many aspects, except for Music Quality and Offline Mode. The difference in audio quality is far from obvious unless you have a first-class audio speaker or a top-rated headphone. As for offline playback, free users are also able to download Spotify music with TuneFab Spotify Music Converter. Better yet, there are no limitations on the number of downloads nor any restrictions to playback on authorized apps/devices.

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