How Much Data Does Spotify Use?

22 December 2017

Years ago we listened to cassettes. Now we stream Spotify.  Having an endless supply of music is awesome for sure, but the data it burns through on our cell phone plans can make Spotify a pricey addiction. So exactly how pricey ?

Read on to find out...and the next time you're streaming Spotify, you'll know how much that playlist cost you in data!

How much data does Spotify use per song?

At the default setting on Spotify on your cell phone, you'd be using 2MB+ data per 3-minute song. 

This quickly adds up to 40MB per hour, and half gigabyte every 10 hours. 

Why is this important? Some cell phone plans still only come with  100MB of data per month (good for only 3 hours of Spotify!). Picking the right cell phone plan is important. 

The data you'll use depends on the music  quality you’re streaming--the lower the music quality, the lower amount of data you’ll use. 

HINT: You can find out what your Spotify music quality setting is by: Tap Your Library > Tap Settings , Tap Music Quality

Spotify has several audio quality settings:

  • Normal quality- approximately 96 kbps
  • High quality- approximately 160 kpbs
  • Extreme quality- approximately 302 kpbs
  • Automatic quality- (Spotify's auto-default setting) this option configures your streaming quality based on your connection, but has a minimum of 96 kbps
Spotify Data Usage 
MusicQuality Normal High Extreme Automatic
Per song* 2MB 3.5 MB 7.5MB 2MB
Per hour 40MB 70MB 150MB 40MB

*Data usage is based on a 3 minute song.

However, these numbers aren’t set-in-stone. Spotify remembers songs you previously listened to, or caches them, so you won’t use as much data the next time you play them.

How much data does Spotify use in a month?

At the normal setting, 1 hour of listening to Spotify on the train (i.e. when not connected to WiFi) every day for the month would require over 1GB of data in your cell phone data plan. 

If you listen less, say an average of 30 min a day of music, you'll use up about 0.5 GB of data a month.   

Tip:Both Free and Premium Spotify use up the same amount of data.

Monthly Spotify Data Usage
Music Quality Normal Extreme
30 min/day 0.5GB 2.2GB
1 hr/day 1.2GB 4.5GB
2 hr/day 2.4GB 9GB 
Find a Cell Phone Plan for Spotify:

Do offline Spotify playlists use data?

No. Listening to Spotify playlists offline is an easy way to save on data. However, Free Spotify doesn't permit this feature. 

With Spotify Premium, you're able to download up to 3,333 songs per device, on a maximum of 3 different devices. Once downloaded, the offline playlists can be listened to without an internet connection, and therefore not cost you a dime in data.

How does Spotify streaming compare in data usage to YouTube streaming?

In general, Spotify music streams uses less data than YouTube video streaming.

1 hour of Spotify vs Youtube
Video Quality YouTube Spotify
Low 100MB 40MB
Medium 250MB 70MB
High 750MB 150MB

How do I reduce my Spotify Data usage?

It's easy. Choose either Automatic or Normal music quality setting and you'll use significantly less data than if you're using Extreme setting. Here's how to change the setting:

1. Open Spotify >Tap Your Library > Tap Settings , Tap Music Quality 

2. Select either Automatic or Normal 

You can also save data by choosing to download your music only when connected to a WiFi network by turning off (toggling left) Download Using Cellular

1. Open Spotify >Tap Your Library > Tap Settings , Tap Music Quality 

2. Select either Automatic or Normal 



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