What is Spotify and how does one of the largest streaming audio and video services work?

Can you imagine a world without music? Neither do I. And without Spotify? Hard to imagine, right? Because today it is the most powerful music platform, with millions of artists, songs and podcasts where you can choose the music you like the most.

The digital age offers us a superpower unthinkable for previous generations. And it is that today we can have almost unlimited songs at our fingertips with just a couple of clicks. And not just music, but also podcasts and videos, so your bet goes beyond music.

Today we will see what Spotify is and how it works, and we will also put this platform face to face with the other big one for music lovers, Apple Music.

What is Spotify?

Spotify is a Swedish digital streaming audio and video service platform that offers multimedia content in the form of music, playlists, podcasts and video clips.

This multimedia streaming service is available on a diverse variety of devices, such as: Smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets, bluetooth speakers, televisions or cars.

Having a Spotify account is free, that is, registered users of this platform can access much of the content for free, although with advertising. But, there is also a premium version without advertising and with a series of privileges in exchange for a monthly fee.

What is it for?

Over the past few years, Spotify has become one of the world's most popular options for listening to music online. This has happened, among other reasons, because it can be used on almost all digital devices and also, its algorithm makes it much easier to explore new musical content.

Spotify has more than 365 million active users, of which 165 million are subscribed to a payment plan. With these figures we can see that we are facing the leading streaming music platform, and its success is becoming more resounding every day.

How does Spotify work?

Spotify is a very intuitive platform where each user can customize the music or content they want to listen to.

Thanks to the algorithm of this application, the tool itself presents suggestions based on the user's tastes, which means that each person has a different application dashboard.

Let's see the main features that make this application such a useful tool to enjoy music.

1. Find music of all kinds

You can search by artist, song, genre, or album. You can also search for playlists created by other artists or users of the platform. The search possibilities are limitless.

2. Create your custom playlists

You can group the songs you like the most for different occasions or times of the day. Making playlists is very simple, both from the computer and from the mobile app.

You just have to click on the menu of the song you like, press add to playlist and put it in any of your lists, or click on the option to create a new list.

3. Listen to music online or offline

You can listen to your playlists whenever you want when you are connected to the Internet. Downloading your playlists is a feature available for the Premium version, which can save a long plane ride or a field trip.

The songs are stored within the app and you can access them at any time by activating the offline listening tab.

4. Discovery Weekly

Spotify's algorithm creates a list every Monday with personalized recommendations based on the music you've listened to in the last few days, related songs, and users with a profile similar to yours.

Thanks to this functionality you can discover music from genres that interest you every week. In addition, it also notifies you of the releases of your favorite groups.

5. Artist, album or playlist radio

It is the “manual mode” of weekly discovery. You can enter the radio of a song, album, playlist or artist that you like and you will see a playlist with related songs. It's the perfect tool if you're always looking for new music to listen to.

6. Share the music you like

You can share it like any other content on a social network, through Email, WhatsApp, or other messaging applications.

There are more and more possibilities to integrate Spotify into other applications. For example, if you use Notion, you can embed a playlist within a page of this productivity tool.

7. Know what your friends are listening to

This platform allows you to see what your friends are listening to, and investigate their musical tastes.

In the same way, your contacts can see everything you listen to. And if you don't want anyone to know your activity on Spotify, you can hide it by selecting the private session mode.

8. Song lyrics and videos

More and more artists include interactive album art with video or lyrics in their Spotify songs. You can learn the lyrics and watch the video without leaving the app, while listening to the song.

Differences between Spotify Free and Spotify Premium

Now let's see what Spotify Premium is, and the differences between this paid version and the free option of the application.

1. Cost

Spotify's beta version is free. To start enjoying your favorite music, you just have to download the app on the device where you are going to use the platform, and have an Internet connection to use it.

Spotify Premium costs €9.99 per month. You can download a free trial version for 1 month before subscribing to the paid plan.

In addition to this, which is the standard price, you have the Duo plan (€12.99 per month), the Family plan (€15.99 per month) and the Student plan (€4.99 per month).

2. Benefits

Spotify Free has advertising. It is the reason why you can listen to music for free. After listening to some songs you have to listen to one or two commercials to be able to continue enjoying the content.

When you use Spotify Free from a computer you have almost the same features as if you have Spotify Premium. However, when you do it from a mobile device, you can't choose the song from a playlist, access the playlists created by you, or skip the song more than 6 times, which makes the experience a bit difficult.

With the Premium version of Spotify, you can listen to all the content you want without ad interruptions, both on your mobile and on your computer. You can choose any song, go from one to another, access all the playlists, etc.

Another great advantage of Spotify Premium is that you can download your favorite playlists and listen to them without having to be connected to the Internet.


Spotify has 3 audio output settings. The format they use is Ogg Vorbis. If you go for the paid plan, you get higher sound quality than the free version.

The paid version has a data transmission speed of 320 kbps, so the audio is heard in a very high quality both on your computer and on your mobile device.

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