Skip to content

Spotify free vs Spotify Premium: Is the upgrade worth it? 3 talking points

  • by
  • 4 min read

Spotify is the global go-to app when it comes to music streaming. It has a userbase of 232 million across 79 markets worldwide and boasts a song library of more than 50 million across languages and genres as well as 450,000 podcasts.

And like all good things, it comes with a price tag. Sure there is a free version, but it is quite limited in its abilities. In spite of its shortcomings, the free version still enjoys enormous popularity, but the paid version does so many things better.

However, coming in at INR 119 a month, the price tag can be a bit steep for quite a few. So is the upgrade to premium worth it? Read on to find out.

Also read: Why has your Spotify premium reverted to free and how to reinstate it?

Spotify Premium: the good and bads

Well if you’ve been using the free version, you already know pretty much what all functionality you’ll be getting when you upgrade. Here are the most notable differences

Why should switch to Spotify especially if you have Google Home

Sound quality

With an upgrade to premium, you immediately get a bump up in the audio quality. As claimed by Spotify, it is about three times better than the quality of the free app. I guess that the quality goes from 128kbps to 320 kbps, which is 2.5 times better to be exact, but you get the idea.

The difference is quite noticeable, especially if you have a good pair of headphones or earphones. Wired earphones will get the most benefit here as 320 kbps audio on a good pair of wired headsets is just pure bliss.

Even on my Boult Tru5ive, the audio difference was reasonably noticeable. The bass notes were deeper and the treble crystal clear.

Previous track button works

If you try to use your headset controls to control the music being played by Spotify, you’ll realise that you can’t go back. In fact, you only have about six song skips an hour.

At first, I thought my earphones were broken, but I soon realised that it was a paid feature. Frankly, it is outrageous that Spotify charges for such basic functionality, but it is what it is.

Surprisingly, Spotify charges you extra to skip more than six songs in an hour.

As soon as I switched to premium, all the controls came back to life. I can now go back/forward to my heart’s content. Also, if you have a wearable such as a smartwatch or something like a Google Home, this functionality makes for a way better user experience.

Regular premium stuff

Alongside the Spotify exclusives, you get all the other perks you’d expect when upgrading to a premium subscription for a music streaming app.

You can download music. You now have greater control over playlists, radios and in some cases, it might even give you access to the tracks which were previously marked unplayable. Then, of course, there is the higher quality music.

I’m not sure if it’s a feature of the premium upgrade, but since the update, my daily mixes and just song radios, in general, have improved by a lot. And, you finally get rid of those annoying 30-second ads.

So is the upgrade worth it?

For the most part, yeah it is worth upgrading to Spotify Premium. The enhanced audio quality is enough to justify it. Throw in the slew of features that you get along with the upgrade and the experience becomes even better.

If you’re a student, you get more value on upgrading. Speaking from experience, the 50% discount makes things so much more enjoyable. Alternatively, you can always keep using the free version, but there is a lot that you will miss out.

Disclaimer: I am using the student discount offered by Spotify to college and school students. But the app works the same, I just get a 50% discount.

Also read: Spotify vs Amazon Music vs YouTube Music

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

Exit mobile version