Spotify review

The music industry has come a long way since Spotify first proved the potential of digital streaming when it burst on the scene back in 2008. It has since been joined by a swarm of rivals launching a range of niche services in an attempt to knock Spotify off its perch, without success to date. 

Spotify offers great listening options for both free and paid listeners, including a huge bank of music and non-music content, such as podcasts and comedy. But the true success of Spotify is in the excellent new music discovery tools it provides. Regularly updated and curated playlists, as well as new music recommendations, provide subscribers with simple methods for discovering new artists based on their listening habits.

Spotify’s ease of access has also played a key role in its success, with simple, intuitive apps across all devices and desktops. For all these reasons, Spotify’s 100 million subscribers put it 27 million listeners ahead of any other music streaming provider.

Spotify packages compared

Spotify FreeSpotify PremiumSpotify StudentSpotify Family
Monthly priceFree$9.99/mo.$4.99/mo.$14.99/mo.
Free trial lengthAlways available3 months3 months3 months
Number of songs50 million+50 million+50 million+50 million+
Sound quality160 kbps320 kbps320 kbps320 kbps
Ad-free listeningNoYesYesYes

How much is Spotify compared to its competitors?

Spotify Premium costs $9.99/mo., which is the same price as all of its main competitors in the music streaming space. Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Deezer and Pandora are all also priced at $9.99/mo.

Why Spotify may be the right streaming service for you

The single biggest appeal of Spotify is its ability to ensure users never run out of new music to discover. It has a range of features, from curated playlists to personalized recommendations, that keep it ahead of its competitors. On top of having a massive range of music content to choose from, the service also has a huge bank of podcasts to keep listeners entertained for days. Building, sharing and collaborating on playlists couldn’t be easier, and Spotify helps users keep their favorite artists, songs, podcasts and their own music all in one place.

User experience

Spotify provides users with clean, elegant applications. The desktop app’s homepage makes a number of suggestions for where to get started, including new releases, playlists based on preferred genres and music similar to artists recently listened to. It also provides further information about bands’ upcoming concerts, detailed biographies and links to social media profiles.

Device compatibility

Users can listen to Spotify on the following devices:

  • Gaming services: Discord, PlayStation, Xbox
  • Mobile devices: Android and iOS phones and tablets
  • Set-top TVs: Android TV, Apple TV, set-top boxes
  • Smart displays: Amazon smart displays, Facebook Portal, Google Home, Nest
  • Smart watches: Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, WearOS
  • Voice assistants: Alexa, Bixby, Cortana, Google Assistant, Siri

Spotify features

Spotify is probably the best all-around streaming service on the market with strong free and premium versions available to music lovers. We took a look at the features that make it the most-subscribed to platform.

Standout free service

Listeners don’t have to pay to enjoy the Spotify listening experience. Users of the free service can build and add to existing playlists, manage digital files and connect with people via the service’s social features. The free version serves up audio ads every few songs, offers sound-quality half as good as Spotify Premium and doesn’t allow users to listen to albums in full. However, it’s a solid free music streaming service.

New music discovery

Spotify makes it easy to discover new music. Its Discover Weekly feature provides a curated playlist based on the user’s listening preferences and preferred artists every Monday. While there’s a whole host of playlists introducing new bands across a wide range of genres, providing simple new music discovery for anyone. If that’s not enough, users can search for new music by genre, which helps dig deep into Spotify’s bank of more than 50 million songs. Plus, there’s also the artist radio feature that most music streaming services now provide.

A personal content library

This is a feature that is easily overlooked but is actually great. The Your Library section on the desktop app contains several really useful links that help users easily find and play favorites. The Recently Played tab tracks artists recently listened to, while the Made For You tab provides a series of playlists that have been specially curated to individual musical tastes. Every artist the user ever hits follow on will be listed in the Artists section, which is Spotify’s answer to alphabetical digital CD racks. On top of that, listeners can create playlists and put them out there for friends, family and all other Spotify users to enjoy.

Non-music content

In addition to its huge music library, Spotify also boasts a wealth of non-music content. It carries all the podcasts available on other platforms, which can be followed and stored in the content library. And Spotify’s recent acquisitions of content creation platforms Giblet and Anchor suggest much more is to come on the non-music front.

Unlimited on-the-go music

Upgrading to Spotify Premium enables users to download music and listen to as many tunes as their smartphone can hold on the go. It’s ideal for people with limited data plans, those who are traveling, individuals who enjoy listening to music while working out and listeners who don’t want a weak connection interrupting their musical enjoyment.

What to listen to on Spotify

While it’s very difficult to find content that’s unique to any streaming service these days, Spotify enables even the most broad-minded music lover to discover new music artists and genres. Hitting the Browse tab on the desktop app lets listeners find music based on moods and activities, including chill, gaming, party, romance and workout, as well as genres like Latin and Funk through to Afro and K-Pop.

How to sign up for Spotify

Spotify has made it simple for new users to start listening quickly with three different options:

1. Web player

  • Visit Spotify’s web player
  • Click Get Spotify Free, then either:
  • Sign up with an email address, enter a password and choose to provide further details like gender, date of birth and display name.
  • Or, click Sign up with Facebook and provide access to the account when prompted.

2.  Mobile app

  • Download the Spotify mobile app via the App Store or Google Play.
  • Open the app and click Sign Up Free.
  • Enter an email address, password, date of birth, gender and display name and click Create.
  • Or, hit Sign up with Facebook and provide access to the account when prompted.

3. Desktop app

  • Download the desktop app via a web browser.
  • Open the app and click Sign Up Free.
  • Enter an email address, password and display name and click Continue.
  • Fill-in date of birth, gender, and click Join Spotify.
  • Or, hit Sign up with Facebook and provide access to the account when prompted.

The takeaway

While its competitors attempt to innovate and come up with nuances that differentiate themselves, Spotify remains the clear leader in the music streaming market. Its content library is hard to beat, only Amazon betters it on sound-quality and it leads the way in providing tools that help people discover new music. 

Spotify will be the ideal music streaming service for anyone that loves broadening their musical horizons. It also provides great user experiences for free and paid users of both desktop and mobile apps.

Rob Latham

Contributing Writer

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.