Everything you need to know about Spotify

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Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services in the world. According to Business Insider by way of Edison Research, it's the second most popular audio streaming service next to Pandora. It pretty much has it all, from the biggest artists of today and yesteryear to the indie artists that only your cool cousin Chaz has heard of.

Here's everything you need to know about Spotify!

What is Spotify?

It's quite simply a music streaming library. Think of it like your music library on your phone or computer, but instead of being physically stored on your device, it's in an online repository, so you need an internet connection to access it. It features streaming radio stations, as well as millions of songs by many thousands of artists. Heard this one song one time 10 years ago? Chances are you'll be able to find it on Spotify.

Just how many songs are in Spotify's library?

There are over 30 million songs in the Spotify library. That's one song for every second of every day for almost a year (347 days).

Is it free???

Ostensibly, yes. Streaming on Spotify is absolutely free, but there are certain features that you miss out on. You can skip tracks, but only a certain number. After that, you're stuck listening to the song that's playing for a certain period of time. You'll also hear ads between tracks and have some other on-demand limitations.

A paid subscription is $9.99 per month, which gives you total access to everything Spotify has to offer, including offline listening and Spotify Connect, which lets you use your Spotify app as a remote to play Spotify on supported devices.

Are there family and student rates?

Yup. The family rate is $14.99 per month, and up to 6 users can enjoy full access to Spotify, including their own playlists, which follow you if you choose to upgrade.

The student rate is $4.99 per month; you just need to prove you're a student with your student number. Your account will revert to a regular Premium account after 12 months, which is how Spotify keeps tabs on who's still a student and who's just milking their account. The student rate is available in only 34 countries.

I live in (insert country here). Can I use Spotify?

Spotify is available in over 60 countries. You can check with Spotify to find it if it's available for you.

Which devices support Spotify?

Spotify works on just about any device within reason. Here are all the Apple devices that Spotify supports:

  • iPhone 4s or newer running iOS 8 or higher
  • iPad 2 or newer running iOS 8 or higher
  • iPod Touch 5th generation or newer running iOS 8 or higher
  • Mac running OS X 10.9 or newer

Each device must have a minimum of 100MB of free space.

How does it compare to the other big music streaming services?

As far as all the other music streaming services are concerned, Spotify is a BIG deal. It has over 100 million active monthly users and over 50 million paying subscribers as of March, 2017.

Let's take a closer look:

Spotify Apple Music Google Play Music Amazon Prime Music Pandora
Free trial period 30 days 3 months 30 days 30 days (with Prime membership) 30 days for Premium, 7 days for Plus
Price $9.99/month ($14.99 for family up to 6 people) $9.99/month ($14.99 for family up to 6 people) $9.99 ($14.99 for family up to 6 people) Comes with Prime membership ($99/year), $7.99/month for Unlimited Pandora Premium: $4.99/month, $54.89/year Pandora Plus: $9.99/month, $109.89/year
Library size ~ 30 million songs ~ 40 million songs ~ 40 million songs ~ 2 million (may differ depending on location), ~ 40 million (Unlimited) ~ 40 million
Number of countries supported Over 60 Over 110 Over 60 See Amazon Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A.

Should I subscribe to Spotify?

If you're not married to the whole Apple ecosystem, then absolutely. Its autoplay features and Daily Mixes and Discover Weekly playlists are wonderful and if you love discovering new music or just listening to other albums from artists you love, then I can't say enough great things about it. Plus, it has a fantastic desktop app for Mac and PC that works with your keyboard playback controls.

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Questions?

Got a question about Spotify? Sound off in the comments below.