How to use it, what you can listen to, and the different subscription plans available.

By Eden Lichterman
June 09, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Since Spotify hit the music scene in 2008, the streaming service has become the most popular global audio platform. Today, 286 million users rely on Spotify for access to millions of songs, podcasts, and audiobooks. Whether you’re looking for chill tunes to play in the background while you work, hit songs to dance to, or musical theater ballads to belt out in the car, there’s a Spotify playlist for you. We rounded up everything you need to know about Spotify, including how to use it, what you can listen to, and the different subscription plans available.

In this Story:

How does Spotify work?

You can download the Spotify app on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On the desktop app, click “Browse” on the top left of the screen to sort through playlists in various genres and moods, podcasts, hit song charts, and new releases. This is a great way to add new music and podcasts to your rotation. You can also scroll through your home page, which features recommendations based on the songs you previously listened to and playlists such as Discover Weekly and Daily Mix, curated specifically for you. As you listen to songs and playlists, you can like them and add them to your library, which appears on the left side of your screen, or you can create your own playlists.

The mobile app includes all the same functions. To browse through different genres, click on the search tab on the bottom of your screen. To access your liked songs and playlists, click on the library tab to the right of the search button.

How to download Spotify

To download the Spotify app on your desktop or PC, go to www.spotify.com/download. The download should start within seconds, and you’ll find it in your downloads folder. Double click the download, continue through the installation steps, and it should be ready to go on your computer.

For mobile and tablet, download the Spotify app with Google Play for Android and in the App Store for iOS.

What can I listen to on Spotify?

Spotify has over 50 million songs that you can listen to, in addition to over a million podcasts and audiobooks. You can create your own playlists, listen to ones that other people created, or listen to ones created by Spotify. You can also listen to personalized playlists such as Daily Mix and Discover Weekly, which Spotify automatically creates for you based on your listening habits.

Is Spotify free?

Yes, there is a free version of Spotify. It includes access to over 50 million songs, over a million podcasts, and audiobooks. You can listen to music abroad on a free account for up to 14 days, and you can pick and play tracks on mobile on select playlists.

The free version includes ads, and you can’t listen to music offline.

Does Spotify have a student discount?

Yes, students can get Spotify Premium for a discounted price of $4.99 per month. The student plan also includes access to Hulu’s ad-supported plan and Showtime for no extra cost.

How much is Spotify Premium — and is it worth the money?

Spotify Premium comes in three different versions: Individual, Student, and Family. Premium accounts include a free 90-day trial before the monthly fee begins.

Premium Individual costs $9.99 a month. Like a free account, this Premium plan includes access to over 50 million songs, over a million podcasts, and audiobooks. Premium also includes unlimited music abroad, the option to pick and play any track on the mobile app, no ads, offline listening, and the highest music quality.

Premium Student costs $4.99 a month, and it includes all the features available with the free and Premium Individual plans. It also includes access to Hulu’s ad-supported plan and Showtime for no extra cost.

Premium Family costs $14.99 a month and can be used by up to six people. In addition to all the free and Premium features, this plan includes a Family Mix, which is a playlist based on the music choices of everyone on the plan, and parental controls for explicit music.

So, is Premium worth it? The short answer is yes (and especially if you’re a student). With a free account, you can’t always choose the song you want on mobile, you only get six skips an hour, and ads often interrupt your music. All of those restrictions go away when you upgrade to Premium. If you’re someone who values the time you get to spend listening to music or a podcast, then it’s certainly worth it to pay $10 a month to make it the best experience possible. And if you’re a student, that goes down to $5 a month, plus you get Hulu and Showtime. That’s quite the deal.

How to change your Spotify username

Once you’ve created your Spotify account, you can’t change your username. You can, however, change your display name, which will replace the username on your profile. To change your name on the mobile app, tap the settings button on the top right corner, then “View Profile”, “Edit Profile,” and then tap your display name to change it. After you type a new name, be sure to press save.

If you connect your Facebook account to your Spotify account, your display name will automatically appear as it does on Facebook.

How to delete a Spotify account

If you’re not enjoying Spotify, you can delete your account. It’s important to note that once you close your account, you won’t be able to create a new one with the same username (but you can use the same email). You’ll lose your playlists and saved music. If you signed up with the student discount, you’ll have to wait a year to qualify for the discount again. You can, however, cancel your Premium subscription without deleting your account altogether and start using the free model.

To delete your account, go to Spotify’s “Contact Customer Support” page, click the “Account” button, click “I want to close my account,” and click the “Close Account” button on the left side of your screen. The site will then take you through a five-part process to close your account, and you should click the blue “Continue” button to move forward with each step. You’ll receive an email confirming that you want to close your account, which will include a link that you need to open within 24 hours. Open the link and click the “Close My Account” button to complete the process.