Mobile App Development

Does Spotify use data?

If you’re new to Spotify, you might be curious about how much data the music streaming service consumes, whether you’re on the go or simply without WiFi. Let’s look

In terms of music streaming platforms, Spotify is perhaps the most popular, however, Apple fans and their commitment to Apple Music might give them a run for their money.

More than 82 million titles are available on the platform launched 15 years ago by the Swedes Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. Tracks can be streamed to a range of devices such as phones, tablets and computers.


Except in the case of Premium users who have downloaded certain albums and playlists for offline listening, you will almost always need an Internet connection to search and stream music in the majority of cases.

But when there is no Wi-Fi access and the user does not have a premium subscription, how does it work?

Does Spotify use mobile data?

Unless you’re a premium user listening to pre-downloaded music and podcasts, you’ll need an internet connection to stream Spotify. This means that if you don’t have access to WiFi, your phone will use mobile data to access content.

Spotify’s data usage is determined by the sound quality you choose. The higher the number, the more data the streaming service will use. Regardless, Spotify consumes much less bandwidth than video streaming services, and perhaps even less than most people would assume. Certainly not as much as I thought, anyway.

You can choose from five sound quality levels in the Spotify app: Low (24 kbps), Normal (96 kbps), High (160 kbps), Very High (320 kbps), and Automatic, which chooses the optimal option for your connection. On your phone, go to Settings > Music Quality to access these choices.

Compared to Netflix, the amount of data consumed is practically zero, although that could be assumed anyway.

At low quality, Spotify will consume 0.18MB of data per minute, which means it will take over 90 hours to use just 1GB of data. At very high quality, Spotify will consume more like 2.4MB per minute, meaning it will only take just under 7 hours to use 1GB of data.

Spotify data saving mode

If you’re concerned about the amount of data your phone uses when using Spotify, a Data Saver setting is available that will display fewer images on the app and automatically reduce the sound quality. It also lets you filter by audio-only podcasts.

To enable Data Saver mode, press Home, go to Settings and simply click Data Saver.

In addition to this bandwidth throttling feature, there are other ways to save the amount of data you consume when using Spotify.

For starters, there’s always Spotify Premium. With Spotify Premium, you can download music to your device and stream it from your internal storage rather than directly from the web, meaning that as long as you download the songs via Wifi, you’ll never need to use any mobile data on Spotify.

Another way for all users to save data while listening to Spotify is to turn off autoplay, which means that songs will not continue to play after the song you actually selected has finished.

Alternative music streaming platforms

Spotify is not the only music streaming service available, and it is essential to be aware of this as there may be an alternative that better suits your preferences and requirements.

Apple Music

Unsurprisingly, Apple Music is firmly focused on Apple users, so Android users may choose to look elsewhere, but that’s not always the case. Apple Music makes a lot of sense if you are completely involved in the Apple environment. It costs a reasonable $10 per month or $99 for an annual subscription. The student membership costs $5 per month, while a family membership for up to six people costs $15 per month.

Apple also announced a new $4.99 membership tier that works exclusively with voice control. It is important to note that the “Apple Music voice plan” does not allow you to use the Apple Music app to listen to music and does not allow you to access the premium features of Apple Music, which include everything, from Spatial Audio to music videos. If you want to benefit from any of these benefits, you will need to upgrade to an individual or family subscription.

The user interface is basic but efficient and easy to use, whether using the desktop or mobile app. The service does a great job curating playlists and making informed suggestions. Although there is no free tier, Apple recently integrated lossless and spatial audio compatibility for Dolby Atmos without costing more.


Tidal was developed by some of the music industry’s biggest artists with the goal of creating a more financially generous platform for creators.

Subscribers to a Tidal HiFi plan enjoy uninterrupted access to music at up to 1,411 kbps for $9.99 per month. There are, however, some benefits reserved for the top tier of Tidal.

In addition to CD-quality streaming, Tidal HiFi Plus users have access to millions of high-resolution audio recordings, which are normally 24-bit/96kHz but can go up to 24-bit/192kHz. These audio files, dubbed “Tidal Masters,” are encoded using Master Quality Authenticated technology, which the company says allows for more efficient bundling of high-resolution data.

Tidal is available on iOS, Android, and PC – all supporting high-resolution streaming – as well as a browser-based player and various other devices, including Sonos. Tidal Connect now lets you connect to a growing number of gadgets via Wi-Fi.


Although Deezer has partnered with MQA, a high-resolution streaming partner, no high-resolution audio streams are currently available on Deezer, just 16-bit CD quality. This puts it at a disadvantage compared to Tidal and Qobuz, which offer high-resolution music. Meanwhile, when it comes to music in terms of accessibility and usability, its non-HiFi subscription falls slightly short of Spotify.

Deezer has an ace up its sleeve: 360-degree audio tracks. The immersive format is similar to Dolby Atmos, except that it is suitable for music streaming. It’s a wonderful extra, but it’s only available to members of Deezer’s $14.99 per month “HiFi” tier, and it’s only available through a separate app.

Jake McEvoy

Jake is a professional writer, journalist, and lifelong tech fan. It covers KnowYourMobile news and user guides.

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