It's hard to believe that Spotify originally launched in the USA in 2011. It had been in development and used in other countries for 3 years at that point. But now, saying that you use Spotify is almost like saying that you brush your teeth or sleep on a pillow. Spotify has become knitted into the fabric of the modern music landscape. But how much energy does it take to power this titan? And how much data does Spotify use?


Photo of a smartphone displaying Spotify app

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As of 2017, the average Spotify user was listening to 25 hours of music per week. That's a lot of streaming. But how can you track how much a single user accumulates data usage? To find out, you must answer a few more questions about your personal use of the app. How much are you on Wi-Fi? Are you a premium subscriber? And what sound quality do you use when you listen to the app? All of these questions will ultimately help you figure out the answer to how much data does Spotify use.

Spotify is still the largest music streaming service there is by user database and subscriber list. But the mind-blowing facts don't stop there. Spotify currently holds 36 percent of the total streaming market period. Their closest competitor, Pandora, is close behind. But others have gotten in on the game too. Amazon, Google, SoundCloud, and of course Apple are all vying to increase their hold on the streaming music market. But when it comes to Spotify, monitoring your data usage could make a big difference when it comes to how you relate to your monthly wireless date allotment.


Photo of a Spotify on a smartphone

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You've probably asked the question: 'how much data does Spotify use?' before. But let's get specific. This will involve pulling back the curtain and looking at your personal virtual habits, checking out how exactly how much you use the app, and suggesting ways of potentially changing your behavior. By the end of this investigation, you'll know what you need to do to optimize your time with this app.


First of all, we need to get an overall snapshot of how much total data you're using before we look at Spotify itself. To find this, go into your phone or tablet's 'settings' area and then click on 'cellular data' or 'data usage' depending on which device you have. Here, you'll get a breakdown of your total usage from week to week as well as app to app divisions as well.


This is where you can find your first answer to the question of how much data does Spotify use. Usually it will show you statistics for this week's total. Based on what's going on in your life, that number can go up or down. Another handy monitoring tool that may be available on your device is called 'screen time.' This allows you to digest the total amount of hours you've spend looking at the screen of your device, whether you've been using data or not.


Before the advent of Spotify. Many used YouTube to stream favorite songs. The hard lesson here is that streaming video consumes an exponentially larger amount of data than an app specifically dedicated to music streaming. After taking the time to examine total music consumption, many realized that apps like Spotify were the way to go, even though with a free membership it's harder to play specific songs.


Photo a woman listening on a headset

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Of course, if you can afford to grab an unlimited data contract, this is an option where all of the tips we're about to go into are unneeded. Even still, some carriers include a 'data cap' even on their unlimited contracts. So looking for ways to save data can come in handy to avoid these. Also, there are more benefits to a premium Spotify membership than just more control over your data usage. After you find out how much data does Spotify use, you can also take advantage of some advanced features.


The biggest benefit of becoming a premium subscriber is that you can engage in offline listening. In fact you can download well over three thousand songs this way. When you're listening to these songs the answer to 'how much data does Spotify use?' is zero. Other reasons to sign up for the premium membership include being able to select individual songs and play them as many times as you like. You can even fast forward and rewind them in mobile mode. And perhaps most importantly, in Premium Mode, you're able to listen to as many songs as you like ad-free.


There are four different settings that you can set your sound quality at. Below, we'll take a look at these levels and how they relate to different allotments of time you could be using the app. You may be shocked to find out the default setting you've been on when you take a look for yourself.


  • Data per minute: 0.18MB
  • Data per hour: 10.8MB
  • Hours to reach a gigabyte: 92.5


  • Data per minute: 0.72MB
  • Data per hour: 43.2MB
  • Hours to reach a gigabyte: 23.1


  • Data per minute: 1.2MB
  • Data per hour: 72MB
  • Hours to reach a gigabyte: 13.8


  • Data per minute: 2.4MB
  • Data per hour: 144MB
  • Hours to reach a gigabyte: 6.9

So as you can see, there is a huge divide between the lowest and the highest quality levels. If you're on a particularly stringent data plan, it may be wise to keep your quality level on the lower end while you're out and about and off of Wi-Fi. Once you get back on a reliable Wi-Fi source you can feel free to raise your quality back up to your preference.

Conclusion: The Power You Have

Photo of spotify on a smartphone

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The power you have to set your data usage habits is in your hands, or thumbs and fingers depending on how you scroll and tap. Hopefully now you have some tools at your disposal to help you choose how much data your Spotify app uses. Spotify does try to help you out too. If there's a particular artist or series of songs that you like a lot, Spotify will cache those songs so that when you play them it doesn't take as much data. Also be on the lookout for special offers to upgrade to premium. Depending on when you sign up, you can get a certain number of months for free.

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