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How Much Data Does Spotify Use?

Man wearing headphones and relaxing while listening to music on his smartphone
  • At its highest quality, Spotify uses up to 150MB per hour and up to 6GB per month depending on use
  • The app’s data consumption varies by the quality of your audio stream
  • You can save on data by enabling the Data Saver mode or subscribe to a premium account and download music to your phone

Even though Spotify only streams a few megabytes per minute, music lovers could burn through a full 2GB data plan in a couple weeks. Exactly how much is your daily Post Malone fix going to cost when streaming on Spotify over the course of a month?

WhistleOut Canada crunched the numbers so you can quickly see how much data that next listening session will need. We also offer some behind-the-scenes tips to keep mobile use low while maintaining high fidelity. Our experts also share which smartphones are the best for streaming Spotify.

How Much Data Does Spotify Use?

If you’re streaming through the web player, Spotify uses a 128 kbps stream, or 256 kbps if you’re subscribe to Spotify Premium. It’s important to recognize that the higher the streaming quality, the more mobile data Spotify will use.

Spotify data use per song

Spotify data use per hour

Spotify data use per month

Do Spotify Premium downloaded songs use data?

How to Use Less Data in Spotify

Download music to your phone with Spotify Premium

One way to save on Spotify data use is to download songs directly to your device, a feature offered with a Spotify Premium account. Spotify Premium plans start at $9.99/month (50% off if you’re a university student) and go up to $12.99 for a couple’s plan, or $14.99 for a Family plan with up to six accounts. With any premium plan, you can download up to 10,000 songs for listening while away from your Wi-Fi. The app can be configured to automatically download new songs you might like, and there’s even an Offline Mode that restricts playback to only use songs on the device.

Podcasts are a different story. Although podcasts can be preloaded automatically or on-demand, only the audio is downloaded. Video podcasts use a live data stream.

Turn on Spotify’s data saver mode

You don’t need to pay for Spotify Premium to unlock data-saving options. The quickest and easiest way to keep data use down is to enable Data Saver. This simple on/off switch lowers audio fidelity to 24 kbps and reduces mobile data use by up to 85%. Data Saver also disables Artist Canvas visuals, which saves even more data.

Lower audio quality to use less data in Spotify

Although playback quality for the web browser player is fixed, app users have access to three tiers of audio fidelity (four tiers with Spotify Premium). For most users, we recommend setting your streaming quality at Automatic. You’ll get the best quality when it’s available and avoid buffering issues if your mobile signal drops. If your cell phone plan has over 10GB of data per month, switch over to Very High quality and enjoy awesome beats.

In addition to streaming fidelity, Spotify Premium users can manage the quality of their audio downloads. Some iPhone and Android smartphones with only 64GB of storage may struggle with the storage demands of “Very High” quality downloads. You should consider “Normal” or “High” quality settings on downloaded music if you have anything less than 128GB of total storage on your device.

Track data use by Spotify

Your device includes built-in features for tracking data use. To find out how much data Spotify has used on your Apple iPhone, look for Mobile Data in your device settings. Most Android phones also let you know how much mobile data has been used by each app, but its location may be different depending on your smartphone manufacturer and Android version. There are several third-party apps that can also help you track data use.

WhistleOut recommends downloading the Account app from your wireless provider (if available) or create a quick link to your account settings on the support website. You get quick access to how much data you’ve used in your billing period so far. This is valuable information to have when trying to budget your monthly data use.

Can I Use Spotify on Unlimited Data Plans?

Cheapest cell phone plans for Spotify

As an added bonus, Chatr and Lucky Mobile let you keep streaming after you high your full-speed data cap, although you’ll need to lower your stream quality to its lowest setting.

Best Phones for Listening to Spotify