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Spotify Free vs. Spotify Premium: Should I Upgrade to Premium?

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By Justin SabrinaUpdated on December 16, 2022

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Spotify offers Free and Premium subscription, is it worth upgrading to Premium account? You will get a better understanding of the difference & commonality between Spotify Free and Spotify Premium after reading this article. You can also learn how to convert and download Spotify songs, playlist and albums to MP3 with Free and Premium account, so that you can enjoy Spotify music offline on any devices.

Since its launch in 2008, Spotify has been steadily enhancing its digital music platform and is becoming a major service. The company says it currently has more than 180 million active listeners - including more than 83 million paid subscribers. Spotify offers three types of account : Spotify Premium ($9.99 per month), Spotify Family ($14.99 per month) and Spotify Free, either free or premium subscribers can access to the same music library of "more than 40 million songs" while offering different features and limitations. Is Spotify free? What is the difference between Spotify Free and Spotify Premium? Should you upgrade to Premium to listen to Spotify music? Is it worth paying up for Spotify Premium? This article explains two Spotify version comparison, you can learn the main differences between Spotify Free and Spotify Premium in terms of price, features and audio quality so that you can decide which Spotify plan is right for you.

What You Get With Spotify’s Free Tier or Premium

spotify plans

Part 1: Difference: Spotify Free vs. Spotify Premium

Spotify Pricing and Plans:

Spotify Free means users can listen to songs, playlists or albums for free. To get started with Spotify, you need to sign up for a Spotify account using email, or you can sign in with FaceBook. Anyone can install the Spotify app on a Windows, Mac, Apple or Android device along with a web player available for all platforms. Every new Spotify member can experience a free Premium version for 30 days. After the expiration, Spotify will automatically unsubscribe, you can see if the Premium subscription is right for you during the free trial period.

Paying $9.99 a month to access tracks on Spotify Premium means you can play songs on demand and without ads, and cache songs for offline playback on your computer, phone, or other devices. In addition, Spotify's Family Plan grants six people individual premium accounts for an incredibly wallet-friendly $14.99 per month.

Ads & Playback:

Spotify app is is available for Windows, Mac, Apple or Android devices. If you are using a Spotify free account, every few tracks you play, a short advert or two will be played. Using an iPhone or Android device, you'll still have access to the Spotify catalog, but the app will only let you listen on shuffle mode or pre-made playlists.

Upgrading to Spotify Premium will remove all adverts so you can listen without interruption. With Spotify Free, you can only skip 6 songs per hour, but with Spotify Premium, you can skip any songs you don't like without limitation. Also, Spotify Premium plan allows you to create playlists based on your taste. Spotify Free doesn’t offer track downloads as Spotify Premium does. You enable to download up to 10,000 songs each across five devices with the ability to listen to tracks, albums, and podcasts without an internet connection when already saved.

Audio Quality:

Spotify applied OGG Vorbis format in all Spotify tracks and there are three different quality settings for streaming Spotify music. Spotify Free provides 96 kbps as the standard bitrate for mobile (iPhone and Android phones) then jumps to 160 kbps for desktop and web player. If you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you'll get 320 kbps which is 'high quality' on desktop and 'extreme quality' on mobile. As to streaming audio quality on Chromecast, it's AAC 128 kbps for Spotify Free, and 256 kbps for Spotify Premium.


If you think it's acceptable to play Spotify music with a free account, there is no need to update your plan. Otherwise, you can choose the right Spotify plan according to your special situation. And you can clearly see the difference between Spotify free and premium services through the images below.

Spotify free

Spotify Premium*

Monthly Free $9.99 (or $4.99 for students or $14.99 for a 6-account family deal)
Access to over 40 million songs
Access to podcasts andaudiobooks
Travel abroad with your music For up to 14 days.
On-demand mobile access
No ad interruptions
Listen without an internet connection
Audio Quality 96kbps and 160kbps 96kbps,160kbps and 320kbps

Part 2: Commonality between Spotify Free and Premium

Spotify is a online music streaming service that for Free/ Premium subscribers easily to access to 40 millions of songs, podcasts and videos from artists all over the world. All songs on Spotify added DRM protection, with either free or premium account, Spotify users can enjoy music online with Spotify app and Spotify web, but Spotify Free users not allowed download songs to offline listening. Even though Premium users can download Spotify songs for offline listening, the songs you downloaded are DRM protected and you can only play them within Spotify App.


1. Play Spotify songs, playlist and albums online.
2. Only allowed to play songs within Spotify App.

Due to all Spotify songs, playlist and albums comes with DRM protection, you can't transfer the downloaded Spotify music to MP3, iPod nano/shuffle/classic, Sony Walkman for offline listening. If you want to play Spotify music on any devices, or take songs out of Spotify app and web player, you need to remove DRM from Spotify streaming Music and convert Spotify songs, albums or playlists to MP3, M4A, WAV and FLAC. Let's

Part 3: How to Upgrade from Free to Premium on Spotify

Now you have a certain understanding of Spotify Free and Premium. If you think Spotify Premium is in your favor, you can choose to upgrade to Premium. Start your journey here:

Step 1. Open the Spotify website in your browser. Click the login button in the upper right.

Step 2. Enter your Spotify account information (username and password) in the pop-up page. Of course, if you have downloaded the Spotify app, you can also click on your username at the top right of the screen and select "Account" from the drop-down list that appears.

Step 4. Click the Profile menu and select Account. Then focus on the left column. Scroll down and click Subscription.

Step 5. Click TRY PREMIUM FREE or GET PREMIUM. If you have not used Spotify's 30-day free trial, you will see the option of TRY PREMIUM FREE. If your free trial has expired, click "GET PREMIUM".

Step 6. Select a subscription plan. By default, you pay $ 9.99 per month for a Premium subscription.

As you can see, Spotify's premium plan is not single. If you want to share your Spotify account with your family, you can choose a family plan for $ 14.99 per month. Click GET FAMILY next to ″Premium for Family".

Note that Spotify also offers a preferential policy for college students. If you’re a college student with an email address that ends with .edu, then you are the lucky one to sign up for a discounted subscription for only $ 4.99 per month. Click VERIFY next to ″Premium for Students" to get started.

If you want to pay for a full year of Spotify Premium at once, click GET PREMIUM next to ″Spotify Premium Yearly″.

Anyway, If you want to make a one-time payment for a specific amount of time (instead of a recurring subscription), select a payment option from the ″One-time payment" section.

Step 7. Next, you need to enter your payment details. Choose either credit card or PayPal in the Select a Payment Method section.

Step 8. Tick the I Agree with the Spotify End User Agreement check box. Finally, Click the START MY PREMIUM button to finalize the process. Now your Spotify membership will be upgraded to Premium immediately.

upgrade from spotify free to premium

Part 4: How to Download Spotify Music to MP3 without Premium

If you are a Spotify Premium user, you can't make full use of these tracks. There are still some restrictions that hinder you. First, the number of tracks downloaded is limited. Spotify is proprietary and encodes its music through Digital Rights Management (DRM). Even Premium and Family users can't play Spotify music on all the devices they want, such as iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, Sony Walkman, car player, or burn them to a CD for enjoying. Here we provide you with a solution that allows you to play Spotify tracks offline without Premium.

With the help of UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter, either free or premium subscribers can download Spotify songs, albums or playlists to MP3/M4A/AAC/AIFF/WAV/FLAC for offline playing on any devices, it's the best solution for enjoying Spotify music without restrictions.
Also read: Tutorial: How to Download Spotify Music with Free account

UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter also is a professional Spotify music player, Spotify music downloader and Spotify to MP3 converter, a bulit-in Spotify web player in the program, just login your Spotify account, you can search, browse, play and download over 80 million songs, 2.2 million podcasts and 4 billion playlists.

Spotify player and downloader

What's more, the program supports download Spotify songs, albums and playlists to MP3, M4A, WAV or FLAC, retaining ID3 tags and metadata. If you are using a Spotify free account, the audio quality of the output song is the same as the 160kbps source and the ad is deleted. With Spotify Free/ Premium account and UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter, you can enjoy 320kbps of high sound quality and enjoy exclusive premium songs on any device. Another benefit of this software is that you can save songs permanently, even if you cancel your subscription, they won't disappear.

UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter Features:

  • Helps Free and Premium subscribers download and convert Spotify music for offline listening.
  • Convert Spotify songs, albums or playlists to MP3, M4A, FLAC and WAV at ease.
  • Built-in Spotify web player, no need install Spotify app.
  • Remove DRM from Spotify songs, playlist and albums.
  • Extract audio from Spotify app and web player.
  • Get 320kbps high-quality Spotify music with free or premium account.
  • Save song title, artist, album, artwork, track number, genre, etc. after conversion.
  • 100% lossless quality and 10X fast conversion speed.
  • Burn the converted Spotify music to CD, or copy them to USB flash drive.
  • Play Spotify music offline on any devices and player apps, whether free or premium account.

Download Spotify Music to MP3 with Free or Premium account

Step 1. Run UkeySoft Spotify Converter on Computer
Download, install and launch UkeySoft Spotify Converter on your Mac or PC, and then login your Spotify account.

Launch UkeySoft Spotify Music Converer

Step 2. Choose MP3 as Output Format
UkeySoft Spotify Converter supports convert Spotify to MP3, M4A, AAC, WAV, AIFF and FLAC. The default output format is M4A. You can click Option button to change output format or output folder if you need. You can also change bitrate, samplerate according to your needs.

select mp3 as output format

Step 3. Add Spotify Tracks/Playlist
Browse songs, playlists or albums you want and click "Add to List" icon to add music to the list.

add Spotify songs

Step 4. Select Songs to Convert
By default, all the songs will be checked and you can unchecked the ones you don't want to convert, please select songs you want.

select songs to convert

All original ID3 tags such as artwork, name, album, artist will be display.

Spotify songs and playlist added

Step 5. Download Spotify Music to MP3
Click "Convert" button to start downloading Spotify music to MP3, the software can help you remove the DRM protection from Spotify songs, albums and playlist.

convert Spotify music to mp3 free

Step 6. Get MP3 Songs
After conversion, click below "blue output folder" icon to quickly locate the Spotify song, all downloaded songs are MP3 format. Now, you can transfer the converted Spotify songs to MP3 player, iPod nano, Android phones/tablets/TVs, iPhone/iPad/iPod touch and more devices.

Spotify Music MP3

The free trial version of UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter enables free users to convert the first 3 minute of each audio file, you can unlock the time limitation by purchasing the full version.


For non-Spotify subscribers, you cannot download songs from Spotify to the device to listen offline. Furthermore, even if you have upgraded to Premium, those downloaded digital music will only be playable if the subscription is active. UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter is able to get rid of these restrictions and help you download and convert Spotify music to MP3 and other common formats without using a subscription account. Besides, it supports converting Spotify songs losslessly, which is beneficial for users who want to listen to high-quality Spotify music on any MP3 player or car player.

Free download Spotify Music Converter to get DRM-free Spotify Music right now:

UkeySoft Spotify Music Converter
Justin Sabrina

Justin Sabrina

Justin Sabrina has over 10 years of content writing experience. She specializes in product reviews, how-to guides, tips and tricks, top lists, etc. on data encryption, multi-media conversion, screen recording and iOS unlocking. At UkeySoft, she performs in-depth research SEO copywriting and collaborates with our R & D team to offer effective software solution, most of her articles on software are helpful and easy to read, helping our reader easily solve problems through using software or apps.


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