What is spotify and how does it work? Complete guide for new spotify users


    Spotify is exclusive Swedish audio streaming and media services provider founded on 23 April 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is one of the largest music streaming service providers, with over 422 million monthly active users, including 182 million paying subscribers, as of March 2022.

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    Spotify offers recorded music and vodcast including more than 82 million songs, from record labels and media companies. As a  service, basic features are free with advertisements and limited control, while additional features, such as offline listening and chargeless listening, are offered via paid initials. Spotify is currently available in 180+ countries, as of October 2021. Users can search for music based on artists, album or category and can create, edit, and share playlists.

    Spotify is available in most of Europe as well as the Americans and Oceania, with a total availability in 184 markets. The service is available on most devices including Windows, macbooks and Linux computers, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Nest lines of products and digitals media players like Roku.

    Unlike physical or download sales, which pay artists a fixed price per song or album sold, Spotify pays authority based on the number of artist streams as a proportion of total songs streamed. It distributes approximately 70% of its total revenue to rights holders (often record labels), who then pay artists based on individual agreements. According to Ben Sesario of The New York Time approximately 13,000 out of seven million artists on Spotify generated $50,000 or more in payments in 2020.

    How does Spotify work

    Getting started with listening to music on Spotify is easy:

    Go to the play store and install the free Spotify application. There are versions for desktop and iPhone/ipad and Android phones.

    Visit the Spotify website and sign up. We recommend signing up with Facebook if you have an account as it’ll make it easier to find and follow friends, see what they’re listening to and share songs with them.

    Sign into your account on those devices and get listening.

    The basic setup is pretty good but there’s much more to Spotify once you explore in and it gets smarter the more you listen.

    Can you download music from Spotify?

    Yes and no. With Spotify Premium you can listen music to be available “offline” but it’s not the same as downloading music in the traditional sense. For example, you can’t try to game the system by downloading an album then cancelling your subscription at a later date. And you can’t download the tracks to burn them to a CD or copy them to other devices.

    The idea of Spotify offline music is to allow you to have access to your favourite music when you’re trying to save mobile data or travelling somewhere where access to the internet might not be easy.

    With Spotify Premium you can have up to 10,000 songs available to listen to offline on up to five different devices. Downloading songs, albums or playlists on Spotify is simple too, which is great. Just switch the toggle next to Download on the album you’d like to download to listen offline. Alternatively, click the three dots in the top right and click “Download”.

    How much data does Spotify use?

    The amount of data that Spotify use through will depend on the streaming quality you choose – more on this in a minute. This is a rough guide for how much data Spotify will get through

    An hour of music playback will use about 50 MB of data when the quality is set to normal. At more quality you can play around 24 hour of music for around 1 GB of data usage. In high quality 1 GB (gigabyte) will be used in less than 15 hour. At extreme quality, you will use 1 GB of data in 7 hour. You will use much more data with video playback.

    You can also check and change the quality of streaming and downloading songs using mobile data in your device settings.

    High quality streaming and Audio quality?

    There are four different levels of streaming quality for spotify. The transmission is done in Ogg Vorbis format and uses the following bit refers for each of the quality levels:

    Down to 24 kbys (kilobytes per second) normal transmission at 96 kbys high to 160 kbys very high transmission at 320 kbys. The quality level you use will depend on your data usage preferences and choices, but its worth nothing that very high is only available to Spotify Premium subscribers.

    How to find people and friends on Spotify

    Signing up to Spotify with Facebook or connecting your Facebook account at a later date will allow you to easily find and follow friends and see what they’re listening to. The activity feed is displayed on the right-hand side of the desktop software and is a great way to pick up on friends who listen to the same music as you or poke fun at them for their latest ABBA session.

    You can also use the search function within the app to find friends. Head into your profile in settings and tap on the “Find Friends” button, which will allow you to find and follow more friends or artists.

    If you’re not on Facebook or don’t want to connect your Facebook account to Spotify you can still find and follow friends, it just might be a bit more difficult in some cases.

    Spotify user: Username

    Copy this and replace USERNAME with the name of your friend. If this doesn’t work, ask your friend to either copy their profile link directly from their profile page and send it to you. Alternatively, ask if they can share one of their public playlists with you. If they created the playlist, then their username is contained within the URL as a number:

    You can either use that number to find them or click on their name in the playlist to follow them. For more detailed guidance on finding friends on Spotify see spotify official tutorial.

    Spotify Bluetooth connectivity

    One of the obvious benefits of Spotify is if you’re using it on your phone then you can connect to a wealth of different Bluetooth devices and stream your content that way. Whether that means a home audio receiver, head unit in your car, Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth-connected speaker – there are plenty of possibilities. With Spotify Premium you can also take advantage of Spotify Connect.

    Private listening mode

    Listening on Spotify can be a social experience. If you’ve connected Spotify to your Facebook account, for example, then friends and family will be able to see what you’re listening to and you can share your favourite songs with them.

    There might be occasion though where you don’t want people to know that you’re listening to a certain album or song on constant repeat. We all have the guilty pleasure that we don’t need the world knowing about.

    How to delete your Spotify account

    If you decide you no longer want your Spotify account, you can delete it. It is worth noting though, that you can downgrade from Premium to a free account, so if cost is the issue then we’d recommend considering that first.

    If you’re still keen on deleting your Spotify account, then follow these steps:

    1. Visit Spotify support page on how to close your account.
    2. Login to your Spotify account.
    1. Login and go directly to Spotify’s Contact Support page.
    2. Choose ‘account’ as the category.
    3. Select ‘I want to close my Spotify account permanently’.
    4. Then click to close your account or cancel your subscription.

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