Music is very deep-rooted in most of our lives. It has the power to rejuvenate a mood completely and act as an escape from the daily grind. It doesn’t matter if you are a teenager going to high school or a forty-year-old working through the 9-hour daily shift. You will have a genre or a list of favorite tracks downloaded in your phone waiting for you to listen whenever you feel the need to unwind.
The Music Industry has witnessed exponential growth in the past few decades and as of now, it is catering to the audience that is in millions all across the globe. It gave rise to the pop-culture in the initial years of this millennium and has since progressed to recent genres like EDM. With smartphones becoming cost-effective and accessible in recent times, listening to music on these devices has been a rave. Many music streaming apps have burst into prominence after this.
WHAT IS SPOTIFY AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Spotify is one of the industry leaders in the domain of music and podcast streaming services. It has been around since 2008 and was initially launched in Sweden by Spotify AB. The streaming platform provides user access to over forty million tracks from artists and bands all over the world.
Speaking about its availability, Spotify is accessible in most of Europe and America, Australia, New-Zealand and parts of Africa and Asia. It is supported in all three platforms namely Windows, iOS and Android. In a February 2019 survey, Spotify has about 207 million active users worldwide out of which 96 million are paid users.
Did you know? – It would take you over 80 years to listen to all the tracks accessible on Spotify.
Spotify offers DRM (Digital Right Management) protected freemium (basic services are free whereas other additional features are paid) service. It backs its premium service subscription as one of the major sources of its revenue. It pays its artists royalties based on the number of times their tracks have been streamed as compared to the total number of songs.
A COMPLETE INSTALLATION GUIDE
Getting Started: Login and Download
Spotify is available to desktop clients regardless of the OS (Windows, MacOS or Linux) they are using. In the case of smartphones, both Android and iOS users can download the app from the. After you have downloaded the app or have gone to Spotify’s web player, the first step would be to create an account.
There are two ways of logging in, i.e., either by using your email id or by linking your Facebook account. I would recommend you to link your account with Facebook if you like posting about or share with your friends the tracks you are currently listening.
After you have created your account, you’ll have to accept the Terms and Conditions. This will lead you to a menu page which includes options like Search, Home, Browse, Radio, etc. You’ll also see the playlists option; however, if you have gone with a Free basic account, you cannot play them until you have it on our desktop or have synced those tracks with your phone.
Besides this, there are 15 on-demand playlists that you can listen to while using the free version. In the case of premium account users, any song can be directly played once they have logged in. Premium account is ad-free and comes without the shuffle-only mode which restricts the user from listening to any song likes.
Spotify is regarded as the second-largest music streaming app after Pandora. It has an inventory of amazing features for its users. Let us skim through some of the exclusive features that this music streaming giant offers to its free-account as well as premium account users.
- We can stream through its extensive library of songs which has a million of tracks to offer.
- Spotify is an independent platform and can be installed in almost all the latest computers, smartphones, PS3 or PS4. It will work perfectly in a car equipped with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
- You can create and share your playlists with your favorite songs. You can easily share your tracks if your account is linked with Facebook.
- If you have your settings at “Normal” quality, one hour of playback will consume around 50MB data whereas at “High Quality”, 1 GB will be used in 15 hours.
- Spotify is an excellent place if you want to broaden your horizons regarding music as its recommendation engine is pretty amazing. Renowned firms like The Guardian newspaper and Rolling Stone magazine have specialized apps for the same purpose.
- Spotify Premium Sound Quality lets you stream songs and podcasts using Ogg Vorbis format and comes in two different variants:
- Standard quality stream at 96Kbps.
- High-Quality stream at 160Kbps.
- A recent feature being added will see Spotify interact with its users to get a better idea about their preference to edit its playlist. Users will be able to “like” they enjoy and “hide” the ones they don’t.
- Another feature includes a new Data Saver Mode to maximize its usage utilizing minimum data. Thus, people living in areas of restricted data connectivity will get a better feel.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES OF SPOTIFY PREMIUM
Are you fed up with the constant interruptions caused by the advertisements appearing on your free-version of Spotify? If so, Spotify provides you with its premium service at $9.99 which is ad-free. These ads which keep popping up often are a buzzkill if you are playing your favorite jam with your friends on a road trip. It enhances your music-listening experience and makes it even more pleasurable.
FREEDOM OF OFFLINE MODE
One of the prominent advantages of purchasing a premium account is that it lets you listen to songs “offline”. This gives you the freedom of catching up with your favorite tracks on-the-go. Spotify provides as many as 10,000 tracks on up to five devices for offline usage.
There is just one condition – you have to come online once every 30 days for your offline tracks to be available. The offline mode comes as a boon for customers who don’t have constant network connectivity all the time. To make use of this feature select “save” option on the album of your choice.
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ADVANCED AUDIO QUALITY
While Spotify provides – Low (24Kbps), Normal(96Kbps) and High(160Kbps) for its free-version users, you will get Double bitrate if you have a premium account subscription. The Extreme audio quality accessible in the premium account will have the Highest quality( 320Kbps bitrate) of streaming. High-end headphones and earphones will intensify your experience as it would be indiscernible from CD quality audio.
BREAK FREE FROM SHUFFLE-ONLY MODE
You are no longer confined to listen in shuffle mode outside of 15 Daily-Mix Playlists hand-picked by Spotify for the free-tier customers. If you are the person who wants to play tracks outside the personalized playlists, subscribing for the premium version would be the right call. Nevertheless, it must be kept in view that shuffle mode is not present for users with Tablet and Desktop app.
ENDLESS SKIP FEATURE
If you like to experiment with your music choice, this is just the right feature for you. Premium service enables you to jump through music from different artists, albums, and playlists. This feature gives you the freedom to unearth new tracks, refine your taste and get a better perspective of other genres.
GET ACCESS TO LATEST TRACKS
Universal Music Group, the industry leader in music-based entertainment business struck a multi-year deal with Spotify on 4th April 2017 to realize the next-generation possibilities for artists, labels and fans to deliver a complete music experience. UMG permits the release of new labels from prominent artists around the globe only on Spotify’s premium service. So, unlike free-account users, Premium members won’t have to wait for a fortnight after your beloved artist or band has dropped a new album.
Spotify is available for people in over 60 countries. Owing to its widespread popularity, Spotify is available in as many as 65 countries. Deezer and Apple Music are the only software which has a higher reach in terms of download bases.
You can download Spotify from almost any part of Europe and America. In addition to this, it is present in Australia and New Zealand as well. And is also available in selected countries of Africa and Asia.
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SPOTIFY: Premium vs Free
The free tier of Spotify has a lot to offer to its users as well. In spite of having repetitive ads, it provides its audience with an on-demand library of playlists. Spotify caters you about 750 tracks through its playlists, however, the exact number changes in few days. These tracks are present in the customized playlists which are put together by Spotify’s machine-learning algorithm. These playlists include :
- Discover Weekly (Spotify selects tracks every week and suggests them).
- Daily Mix (a list of new tracks you haven’t listened but are an all-time favorite).
- Release Radar (a collection of new singles from the artists you already listen to).
There are few playlists which Spotify handpicks on its own. A couple of such playlists are Rap Caviar and Ultimate Indie.
You can listen to any other album, artist or playlist outside the playlist mentioned above but in shuffle-play mode. You can gain access to the free version from your smartphone, Desktop or Tablet. Users with desktop or web app of free account can play any song, album or playlist at all times in any order. Nevertheless, there will be an advertisement after every couple of tracks.
The Premium account subscription is one of the major sources of revenue for the app as it earns far less money from per-play from advertisements. Accordingly, Spotify offers you numerous sought-after attributes in its premium version.
For $9.99, which is Premium account’s monthly charge, you will get an add-free music streaming platform which lets you save about 10,000 songs offline. With Premium, you get to skip song unlimited times and access any particular song regardless of the artist, playlist or album. All the latest releases from mainstream artists are updated instantly. Additionally, the fascinating music-listening experience in Extreme quality (320Kbps) acts as a cherry on the top.
Subscription Details and Other Details
A single, regular-package subscription of Premium account costs about $9.99 per month. If you are not a student and don’t want to buy a family account, then you can go with this plan. Also, there is a year-long plan which gives you a $20 discount and costs about $99 at one go.
Family subscription is one of the most economical plans furnished by Spotify. For a minimal rate of $14.99 a month, you can share your account with six members. This reduces the cost of each person using the account. Everyone has an individual account which they handle separately, guaranteeing that there is no chaos. Your playlists will be safe and sound within your account. You cannot purchase this package with your friends as the billing of all the members will be done under one address.
Spotify provides a great deal to students as well. If you are a university student and have all the necessary credentials, you can procure a Spotify Student account for just $4.99 a month.
Combo-offer on Hulu
Hulu, an American media-services company which bypasses other mainstream entertainment providers has pulled together a deal with Spotify. Hulu Limited Commercials separately costs around $7.99 per month. We get a Spotify Premium plus Hulu plan for $13.99, costing us $5 as compared to buying individual plans. Students can get their hands on this deal for $4.99. However, only American users can make use of this offer as Hulu is restricted to the US.
Free Subscription and Promotions
A 30-day free trial of Premium account is available if you want to get a feel of the extra features. You will have to provide your payment details, using that Spotify will renew your subscription on its own. If you just wanted to dip your toes and don’t feel like buying Premium account, head on to account setting to shut it off so that you are not charged for the following month.
Premium account plans to have a three month validity period can be purchased for just $1 using Spotify’s promotion offers. You will have to keep an eye out for these offers as they are usually applicable for users who have never tried Premium account. Entertainment giants, for instance, Sony gives a 10% discount on Premium accounts for having PlayStation plus membership.
Spotify Alpha and Beta
Spotify has rolled out Alpha and Beta versions using which users can enroll as a tester for all the new versions of Spotify. These testers provide Spotify with valuable inputs thereby helping Spotify to ensure there are no issues with the features they are going to launch worldwide.
Beta users will have the perk of trying and testing all the new features before it is launched worldwide. Their inputs will be taken into account for bug fixes and to resolve any other issues.
- How do I upgrade to Spotify Premium?
To get started with the premium account head towards the Spotify Premium Page. You must log into your Spotify account if you are not already logged in and provide your payment details, be it a credit card or Paypal. Make the payment after you have selected a suitable plan for yourself. You can access this account using any device just by logging in using it.
I would recommend you against purchasing Spotify Premium account using iOS if you are an Apple device user. Apple charges a higher rate ($13) than usual $10. To avoid this fleecing, you can merely use Spotify’s website to become a premium member.
- How can I share music using Spotify Codes?
Sharing your tracks on Spotify is a piece of cake. You will get a unique code linked with every album, track or playlist using which you can share them with your friends. This feature works just fine in both Android and iPhones. By clicking the “…” button next to where you’ll find the song’s unique code. In the device with which you want to share your music, tap on the top the camera icon by clicking on the search button. Your music gets shared by simply scanning the unique code. This code is free to use across all platforms of Spotify, so look out for codes of your favorite songs and get sharing.
- What does Spotify Time Capsule mean?
Spotify releases an assortment of customized playlists from time to time. Time Capsule is one such collection which includes all the old songs which you would have listened as a child. This list of songs will bring out the nostalgia and will help you reminisce those wonderful moments again. Spotify will get a good idea of your musical taste before putting together an almost precise list of songs you grew up listening.
- Can I find friends on Spotify?
Yes, you can connect with your friends and get acquainted with new people who have the same musical taste as yours. Spotify lets you sign up using your Facebook account or link your account afterward. The activity feed informs about the people listening to the songs and artists of your choice.
If you are not on Facebook or haven’t linked your account, one of the best ways would be to use the search bar on your desktop. Type your friend’s name or copy their profile link on the search bar to connect with them directly.
- How do I delete my account?
If you are going to delete your account due to its cost, I would suggest you to rethink your decision. A Premium account can be downgraded to a Free account, so don’t jump on to deleting account before considering that option.
Nevertheless, if you want to delete your account, I would show you some steps in the following lines.
- Log into your account and check out the Spotify’s Contact Support page.
- Click on “account” from the list of categories.
- You will find an option named “I want to close my account permanently”. Tap on close your account to cancel your subscription.