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How much data does Spotify use? (And how to make it use less)

By Mint Fox

Originally published February 22, 2022


Last Updated March 12, 2024

Mint Fox using Spotify on his smartphone with a thought bubble showing that Spotify is draining his data

Not to get all “back in the day” but you used to have to purchase your music one album at a time on a cassette or a CD and then listen to it on a device designed solely to play cassettes or CDs and nothing else. It was exhausting. Now you have all of your favorite songs and thousands of potential favorite songs right there in your phone. Listening to all of it can really chew through your mobile data though, if you don’t know the hacks. Luckily, we’re here to share some insider tips with you so won’t breeze through all your data just listening to Spotify.

In this article

How much data does Spotify use?

It takes about 500 KB of data to stream one minute of music and there are 1 million KB in 1GB. So if you do the math (or if we do), that means you can stream approximately 33 hrs and 20 min of music with 1GB of data. Now you might be thinking, “I don’t listen to Spotify nearly that much, I should be fine.” But keep in mind, this is if you’re ONLY listening to music with your data. Streaming video, surfing the web and social media all eat up data, too. How much? Well, we just happen to have another blog all about MB, GB, and how much data those other activities use.

It’s also worth noting that this is an approximation and all music streaming services are different. Even Spotify’s data usage varies based on your audio quality, which can change depending on numerous factors like network signal, or if you’re using Spotify Free vs. Spotify Premium. 

Smartphone showing Mint Fox's Spotify profile

How do you reduce Spotify’s data usage?

There are essentially two ways to use less data when streaming music via Spotify or other music apps: use Wi-Fi or modify Spotify’s app settings. Let’s start with Wi-Fi.

1. Download songs via Wi-Fi ahead of time

The easiest way to use less of your data is to do most data-heavy things while connected to Wi-Fi. When you’re using the internet via Wi-Fi, it isn’t pulling from your mobile data allotment. Of course, this only makes a difference if you’re listening to Spotify exclusively at places that have Wi-Fi, like your home or office, right? Not exactly.

Spotify allows you to download tracks to listen to later, which is quite the game-changer. If you know you’re going to be hitting the road in a bit and want to listen to the next episode of your favorite podcast or have a specific playlist you always shuffle on your way to the office, download it ahead of time while connected to Wi-Fi. That way you can save that mobile data for something more important, like watching shoe unboxings or your favorite vlogger’s vacation videos on YouTube between meetings. Just make sure to follow our tips for keeping YouTube from draining your data, too.

2. Change your Spotify settings 

Of course, you can’t always predict what you’re going to want to listen to in advance. You see a billboard for a tuxedo shop, it reminds you of prom, and boom – now you gotta listen to “Yeah!” by Usher immediately or your whole day will feel off. We’ve all been there. Luckily, Spotify allows you to modify its settings so it will use less data when you’re streaming the old fashioned way. 

  • Turn on Data Saver Simply go into the settings menu in your Spotify app (the little gear in the top right corner) and you’ll see a section labeled Data Saver. Toggle this switch to lower the audio quality on Spotify and disable all the fun looping visuals that you shouldn’t be watching while you’re driving anyway. Yep, it’s just that easy.
  • Disable Autoplay – That way Spotify won’t keep playing music after your playlist is over. 
  • Disable video in podcasts – If you’re a fan of video podcasts, but don’t actually need the video part (which you also shouldn’t be watching while driving), the Video Podcasts section has a switch that tells Spotify to stream them as audio only when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. 

3. Switch to a carrier that will help you use less data

Look, while you’re here reading our blog about data, it only makes sense for us to tell you why you should consider Mint Mobile for your premium wireless needs. Here we believe in total transparency. That’s why we tell everyone that, contrary to popular belief, an unlimited data plan isn’t your only option. This means that in addition to giving you tips on how to use less data, we may also recommend switching to a lower-priced plan based on your usage habits. You read that right, we will tell you to give us less money if you use less data. But to be fair, our Unlimited Plan* is only $30/month, so you could just stick with that and still be saving plenty over the other guys. 

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*New activation & upfront payment for 3-month plan req’d. Taxes & fees extra. Addt’l restrictions apply. Unlimited customers using >40GB/mo will experience lower speeds. Videos stream at ~480p. See terms.

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