Most people have heard of Spotify, even without knowing the service thoroughly. It is a platform that allows you to access different music tracks, modern and from past eras, from any device, such as PCs, smartphones, Smart TVs, game consoles, and latest generation cars.
The basic version is totally free, thanks to the earnings that Spotify receives through advertising. Nevertheless, it is possible to subscribe to a monthly subscription of about $11. This subscription allows you to take advantage of additional features.
However, there are several reasons you shouldn't use Spotify. And in this article, we shall explore some of these Spotify cons. Ready? Let's get started!
1. Too Many Ads and Annoying Limitations in the Free Plan
Users who want to listen to free music have to live with ads and some restrictions. The first thing many Spotify Free users will probably notice is the commercials played between the music pieces.
Spotify is a legal music streaming service and needs to be funded somehow. You'll have to deal with ads if you don't pay for the premium subscription.
The next limitation lies in the operation and selection itself. Even if you can theoretically access the entire music library of the service with Spotify Free, in most cases, you have to make do with the selection of Spotify.
You can pick the album, genre, artist, or playlist yourself, but the music then runs in shuffle mode. In addition, as a free user, you can only skip songs 6 times an hour. So the actual on-demand service becomes more of an online radio, where you choose the station and have a little more say in the choice of music.
Also, further compromises have to be made in terms of flexibility and quality. You always need an internet connection to listen to music, even when mobile, as the download function is only available for premium customers.
Learn more differences between Spotify Premium vs Spotify Free in our other article!
2. Lack of Hi-Fi and Low Sound Quality
This is another reason why you shouldn't use Spotify. Almost every streaming service has a nice HiFi offer. Except for Spotify, of course!
But what does HiFI mean and why is it so important? HiFi promises lossless CD quality with a resolution of 16 bits and a sampling rate of 44.1 kilohertz (kHz). The data rate is then 1,411 kilobits per second (kbps), which can be reduced to around 800 kbps with lossless compression.
For the listener, this means sound details of the artists and sound engineers are retained, some of which are lost with compressed MP3 files or streaming offers with just 320 kbps. Poor Spotify!
Some services with High Resolution (Hi-Res) ignite the next level of quality. Here listeners get the unadulterated originals from the recording studio, just as the musicians conceived and produced their pieces. Often with 24-bit and 96 kHz, sometimes even more. The data rate here is between 2,304 and 9,216 kbps.
While Spotify Hi-Fi is still nowhere to be found, other streaming platforms have been offering competitively priced hi-res music for some time. So, if you are an audiophile, you may want to ditch Spotify for these alternatives.
3. The Joe Rogan Controversy
Spotify found itself at a delicate crossroads recently when its exclusive celebrity from the world of podcasts, Joe Rogan, detonated controversy among the artistic community for a series of comments against COVID-19 vaccines.
The star podcaster has been accused of spreading misinformation and promoting radical opinions that have caused the most significant impact in cases of contagion and deaths from the Coronavirus Covid-19. When Rogan repeatedly suggested that it would be best for healthy young people not to get vaccinated, many artists began to react with harsh criticism. The turning point came when Neil Young decided to leave the streaming platform and was followed by multiple celebrities, including Joni Mitchell. Thousands of users started to boycott the platform. On Twitter, you could find posts with the hashtags #deletespotify and #cancelspotify.
Even though Spotify faced a growing pressure to cancel Joe Rogan, the streaming platform has taken a stand-by-driver stance. Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, said that Rogan would be allowed to say whatever he wanted as long as he didn't violate the platform's rules. Spotify's stance raised questions about the responsibility of companies to police the content that is published on their platforms.
It is also speculated that Rogan's signing as exclusive to the service in its podcast section could be around $100 million. So they probably don't want to lose that investment right now.
Instead, the platform chose to integrate preventive warnings about Covid-19 in the episodes that could address the issue. But that did not prevent the dropout problem from continuing to grow. So, you may want to consider other music streaming platforms, like the celebrities and other users.
4. Poor Artist Payout
In the last decade, many platforms have emerged where you can listen to music, such as Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, or Pandora. However, Spotify, in particular, has made a name for itself and is one of the great titans of the music streaming industry.
It is clear that the company is doing very well, but what about the musicians who have their songs on Spotify? How much does Spotify pay per stream? Despite all the benefits that Spotify offers listeners, they are not very generous when paying artists.
Spotify pays artists an average of $0.004 per stream. That is, it is necessary to reach 250 listeners to earn at least 1 dollar.
Truth to be told, many factors affect how much money an artist will receives from royalties, such as where their listeners live, whether they have a Premium account, or what kind of distribution deal the musician in question has. Spotify doesn't pay artists directly - they pay the right holders such as music labels and distributors. How much an artist will get depends on the deals he/she has with the right holder.
The whole music industry is incredibly broken and some other streaming platforms - such as TIDAL - at least try to change the paradigm and pay artists in a more fair way.
5. Limits to Downloading Songs
One of the most popular criticisms of Spotify is that it only allows 10,000 songs to be downloaded for offline listening. It may seem like a reasonably high limit, but as long as the user downloads three or four large playlists, it turns out not to be.
It was about 3,000 songs since its inception, but the Swedish service seems to have reconsidered and increased that limit to the current amount. Hence, users can store about 10,000 songs on each device, with a total of up to five devices, that is, 50,000 songs.
However, Apple Music, Spotify's main competitor, has no offline song limit. In fact, the only limit is the storage of your smartphone. You can save as many songs as possible until you fill the memory. The same goes for YouTube Music (although it has a limit of 10,000 albums or playlists).
This is a pretty good reason not to use Spotify. Why should you be limited on a streaming service when better options exist? However, if you still decide to stick with the Swedish company, here’s how to download songs from Spotify!
6. Spotify Trying to Lock-in Users and Threatening Developers Over Exporting Playlists
Spotify threatened developers of apps that allow the transfer of Spotify playlists to other music streaming services. The platform demanded from third-party apps to remove transferring from Spotify to competing music services, otherwise their SDK access would be revoked.
This move opposes users who want to take their playlists to another music service. In our opinion, trying to lock in users isn't fair. People should have the right to move their data from any music streaming platform to another whenever they want. That’s why FreeYourMusic still supports the transfer of Spotify playlists even if Spotify tries to hold your playlists hostage.
7. Promotion of Podcasts Over Music
One of the most annoying cons of Spotify is that the streaming platform forces users to listen to podcasts rather than music, which has been the primary aim of using the platform in the first place. You only need to look up a single podcast for the streaming platform to flood your feed with recommendations.
That's not fair, Spotify! This can be pretty inconvenient for users who are there to enjoy they favorite songs and artists. Here’s how to cancel Spotify, so that you can explore other favorable streaming platforms like Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, and more!
8. Data Usage
Several factors can affect how much data is used when streaming music on Spotify and how much of that data actually counts towards your monthly data allowance.
Streaming quality is one of the most critical factors. Spotify offers four different quality settings: Low, Medium, High, and Very High. The higher the quality setting, the more data is consumed.
An average song today is about 3½ minutes long. With the minimum quality level, Spotify songs only take up about 600 kb or a little over half a megabyte. However, the dynamic range has left much to be desired, and the beats are flat.
Setting the quality to the highest level already consumes 3.6 MB of data. Spotify Premium subscribers can activate very high streams (320 kbit/s), which increases consumption per song to a whopping 7.2 MB. Listening to a full 12-track album takes up to over 100MB if you're using Spotify Premium. But even without the premium quality, streaming an entire album at the highest quality takes around 50 MB.
Spending so much data to stream music will hurt your pocket sooner than you realize. Hence, you can switch to another platform to minimize data usage.
- Funding military technology
If you listen to music on Spotify, it's important that you know who's making money off it. While the service is free for most users, it costs money to provide the service and keep it running.
When you listen to an ad on Spotify (or subscribe to a premium plan), you are indirectly paying a dollar amount to a company whose CEO invested 100 million euros in AI military technology. In 2021, Daniel Ek invested in Helsing AI, a military defense firm that claims to use algorithmic systems which “integrate data from infrared, video, sonar and radio frequencies, gleaned from sensors on military vehicles, to create a real-time picture of battlefields.”
Many people were boycotting Spotify after this information was revealed. First of all, why would the CEO of Spotify use its profits to fund efforts of war? Secondly, the scale of investment cuts deep to artists who are paid minuscule royalties by the giant streaming platform.
It's worth to note that investments into military technology are not exclusive to Spotify. Apple has also worked with military to make wearables for the soldiers.
Transfer Your Playlist From Spotify to Other Services
Now that you've seen why you shouldn't use Spotify, you can try another music streaming service if you don't have a Spotify account. However, if you've been using Spotify and want to transfer your playlist to another streaming service, you can try FreeYourMusic.
The platform allows you to transfer your music playlist from one streaming service to another. Therefore, transfer your playlist from Spotify to another music streaming platform using FreeYourMusic today!