How to Switch to the New Spotify Basic Subscription

how to sign up for Spotify basic subscription
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how to sign up for Spotify basic subscription
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Photo Credit: Cezar Sampaio

Spotify launched a new basic subscription plan for users in the United States who want to listen to music and podcasts only—no audiobooks. Here’s how to switch to the Spotify basic subscription if you don’t want to listen to audiobooks or participate in Spotify’s bundling scheme.

The new basic music-only plan is a dollar cheaper and pays songwriters and publishers the royalty rate (15.2%) as established by the Phonorecords IV agreement in 2022. After switching 97% of its Premium accounts to the new bundled offering to reduce the royalties it pays to songwriters and publishers—Spotify is making the basic subscription as hard to access as possible. Here’s a peek at the hoops you’ll have to jump through to go music-only for your Spotify subscription.

The basic subscription is still not found anywhere on Spotify’s subscription page for new customers. In the announcement, Spotify said only ‘eligible’ customers will have access to this subscription plan. That eligibility seems to be a United States Premium subscriber who wants to downgrade to the Basic plan, hidden in the account management screen. That way Spotify can feed you through several dark patterns and FOMO attempts to stop you from switching.

Clicking on the ‘View All Plans’ button on Spotify’s subscription flow will not show the new basic subscription plan to you. Instead, Spotify expects new members to subscribe to the default Premium tier that includes bundled audiobook access and then seek to downgrade the Premium subscription once subscribed.

That means you will need to subscribe to Spotify as a new customer by signing up for its Premium bundled offering. There is no way to start a new Spotify subscription as a basic subscriber.

How to Switch to Spotify Basic Subscription

The switch from Spotify Premium to a basic subscription is only available for subscribers and only works as a downgrade of the Premium subscription. You cannot downgrade a Premium family subscription to a Basic Duo or any other combination.

  • Spotify Premium can be downgraded to Spotify Basic
  • Spotify Duo Premium can be downgraded to Spotify Duo Basic
  • Spotify Family Premium can be downgraded to Spotify Family Basic

Users cannot switch from Premium Duo to Basic Duo, and then switch to a Spotify Basic Family plan from there. You must have signed up for a Spotify Premium subscription before you can downgrade to basic. It’s also worth noting that if you decide to cancel your Spotify Basic subscription, you will need to resubscribe to Spotify Premium and then go through the downgrade process again. Additionally, if you purchase Spotify gift cards to subscribe to your account—those are for Premium-only.

Spotify is intentionally hiding its music-only subscription offering behind the Spotify Premium paywall. You will need to access your Spotify account’s ‘Manage Subscription’ option to find the option to downgrade to the basic offering of your specific subscription.