How much data does Spotify use? The answer depends on your streaming quality and maybe your carrier incentives. Here’s a quick breakdown.
Spotify uses less data than equivalent times of video streaming, but you could rack up more data usage than you expect. That’s especially true if you’re streaming higher-quality audio tracks and podcasts. Spotify offers five different sound quality settings in the app that govern how much data Spotify uses.
Spotify Sound Quality Settings
You can access these options by navigating to the Spotify app ‘Settings‘ and scrolling down to ‘Music Quality.’ There are five different settings to choose from, including:
- Low (24kbps)
- Normal (96kbps)
- High (160kbps)
- Very High (320kbps)
The automatic option will choose a sound quality option based on your network connection. You can download high-quality music to your device to avoid massive data charges.
How Much Data Does Spotify Use?
Let’s break this down by sound quality tier to see how much data Spotify uses based on sound quality. The app uses anywhere from 0.5 MB up to 8 MB for a song.
A full hour of streaming music can use upwards of 150 MB of data. That means a single hour of streaming per day can add up to over 6 GB of data usage just for streaming music.
- Per Minute: 0.18 MB
- Per Hour: 10.8 MB
- Streaming Hours to Reach 1 GB: 92.5 hours
- Per Minute: 0.72 MB
- Per Hour: 43.2 MB
- Streaming Hours to Reach 1 GB: 23.1 hours
- Per Minute: 1.2 MB
- Per Hour: 72 MB
- Streaming Hours to Reach 1 GB: 13.8 hours
Very High (320kbps) – Spotify Premium Only
- Per Minute: 2.4 MB
- Per Hour: 144 MB
- Streaming Hours to Reach 1 GB: 6.9 hours
Remember: You can avoid Spotify consuming your mobile data each month by downloading your favorite playlists, albums, and podcasts to your device before leaving the house.
Carrier Incentives May Include Spotify Streaming
Some North American phone carriers like T-Mobile don’t count music streaming data against your data plan. T-Mobile calls this its Music Freedom benefit, which lets customers “stream all the music they want from participating streaming services without using data.”
This plan includes several music providers like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, YouTube Music, Slacker, SiriusXM, and many more. T-Mobile’s Music Freedom perk is enabled automatically on eligible plans. Just remember that non-music streaming data still counts against you.
Most music streaming services include small amounts of non-music streaming data, like album artwork. The amount of data those non-music files consume varies by streaming partner and the device being used.
How to Make Spotify Use Less Data
Are you running up against your monthly data allotment because you’re streaming Spotify? There are a few steps you can take to reduce your music streaming data usage. Here’s a quick overview of those options.
Download Your Music
Spotify Premium offers users up to 10,000 songs for listening while away from WiFi. You can even turn on an offline mode so Spotify can only play tracks, albums, and playlists you’ve previously downloaded to your device. Spotify Premium costs $9.99/month for a single person, $12.99/month for the Duo plan, and $15.99/month for the Family Plan.
Turn on Spotify’s Data Saver Option
Don’t want to subscribe to Spotify Premium? You can enable the ‘Data Saver’ option in Spotify to keep audio streams at 24kbps and disable the Spotify Canvas feature. Spotify says its data saver feature can reduce Spotify data use by up to 85%.