Does Spotify Use Data? [A Complete Guide of 2024]

Spotify has become one of the most popular music streaming services, with over 456 million monthly active users as of 2024. With its huge catalog of songs, playlists, and podcasts, Spotify allows you to listen to the content you love whenever and wherever. But does using Spotify actually use up a lot of data?

How Spotify Uses Data?

When you stream music or other audio content on Spotify, it will use some of your internet data allowance.

There are a few key factors that determine how much data Spotify uses:

1. Streaming Quality

The higher the audio quality you select for streaming, the more data Spotify will use to deliver that content. Spotify provides various levels of audio quality to choose from:

  1. Low Quality: Spotify’s “Low” quality option streams music at 24-96 kbps. This uses the least amount of data.
  2. Normal Quality: Spotify’s standard “Normal” quality streams music at 96-160 kbps. This provides decent listening quality for most users.
  3. High Quality: Spotify “High” quality streams music at 160-320 kbps. This option uses more data but delivers improved audio quality.
  4. Very High Quality: Spotify’s top “Very High” audio quality streams music at 320 kbps, using the most data but offering high-fidelity sound quality for audiophiles.

How Spotify Uses Data

So if you want to use less mobile data for Spotify, switching streaming to a lower audio quality can help significantly reduce your usage.

2. Downloaded Playlists and Podcasts

In addition to streaming music or podcasts live, you also have the option on Spotify to download playlists, albums, and podcast episodes to listen offline. Downloading content uses some initial data, but can then reduce future usage since it won’t need to stream.

The amount of data used for downloads depends on the amount and length of content saved for offline listening. However, downloads use significantly less data over time compared to streaming that same content continuously.

How Much Data Does Spotify Use?

So with all those factors using data to varying degrees, how much actual data does Spotify use during average use? Here are some estimates and measurements of data usage:

1. Per Hour Estimates

  • Low Quality: Approximately 12-24 MB per hour
  • Standard Quality: Approximately 24-48 MB per hour
  • High Quality: Approximately 48-96 MB per hour
  • Very High Quality: Approximately 96-160 MB per hour

Of course, these are just general estimates—your exact data usage can vary based on specific listening quality, content type, network connection, and other factors.

2. Monthly Estimates

Based on those hourly estimates, here is an approximation of how much data Spotify could use per month with different listening durations:

  • 1 hour daily: Estimate 360-720 MB
  • 2 hours daily: Estimate 720 MB-1.44 GB
  • 3 hours daily: Estimate 1.08-2.16 GB
  • 4 hours daily: Estimate 1.44-2.88 GB

So if you listen to Spotify for around 2-3 hours per day, expect it to use 750 MB up to around 2 GB of data monthly. These estimates assume streaming at default “Normal” quality settings. Listening at lower qualities would reduce data usage, while higher streaming quality increases data use.

How Much Data Does Spotify Use

Tips For Reducing Spotify Data Usage

If you want to cut down the amount of data Spotify uses on your phone or tablet, here are a few handy tips:

  • Lower Audio Quality: As mentioned above, switching from the “Normal” or “High” quality defaults to “Low” quality streaming can significantly reduce data consumption. Just bear in mind it comes at the expense of some loss in audio fidelity.
  • Download Content For Offline Play: Whenever on a Wi-Fi connection, proactively cache playlists, albums, or podcasts by tapping the “Download” icon to save them offline and cause no internet connection. Then you can listen offline without continuing to stream and use data.
  • Restrict Background Data: In Spotify app settings, disable “Background data” usage which stops downloads, streaming, or data syncing when Spotify is in the background.
  • Disable Data Syncs: Also in app settings, turn off “Sync” which prevents Spotify from auto-syncing across devices so it won’t unexpectedly use data in the background.

Spotify Data Usage Abroad

One final key consideration—if you use Spotify while traveling abroad or on other networks outside your phone carrier’s coverage, streaming could use substantially more data. That’s because you may not have an unlimited data plan while roaming, so Spotify usage gets deducted from a limited data allotment which can be used up more quickly.

Additionally, while within European Economic Area (EEA) countries Spotify honors your domestic data plan. But in non-EEA countries, Spotify can use data very quickly—up to 300 MB per hour when roaming. So it’s especially important to download content in advance before traveling internationally with Spotify.

Conclusion

To wrap up—yes, Spotify certainly uses a reasonable amount of internet data depending on your settings, content types, and listening time on the platform. An average user streams around 2-3 hours daily, which can use roughly 750 MB up to around 2 GB per month.

However by aiming to listen at lower streaming qualities, proactively downloading content rather than streaming constantly, limiting background usage, and restricting data syncs you can significantly reduce your data consumption.

Keeping these tips in mind allows you get continue enjoying Spotify to soundtrack your life—without blowing through your precious mobile data!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does downloading Spotify songs to my phone use data?

Yes, downloading Spotify playlists or albums to your phone will initially use some data for the downloads. However, you then can listen offline which avoids continuously using data to stream.

Does changing quality to “Low” affect sound?

Yes, lowering streaming quality to “Low” will degrade audio fidelity and clarity somewhat. But it can greatly reduce data usage which may be a worthwhile trade-off.

What uses more data – streaming songs or streaming podcasts?

Generally streaming music uses more data than streaming podcasts on Spotify. This is because music is available in higher-quality formats compared to most podcasts.

Can I restrict background data usage on iPhones?

Yes, on iPhones go to Settings > Spotify and toggle off “Background App Refresh” as well as “Use Cellular Data” to prevent background streaming.

Is Spotify data usage really unlimited on certain plans?

Some carrier plans do offer truly unlimited data with Spotify streaming. However, others advertise “unlimited” but may slow speeds after exceeding high data usage thresholds. Check your carrier’s specifics.

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