Demystified: Spotify’s bandwidth usage

Spotify let’s you stream music from your your laptop, smartphone and tablet. When streaming over Wi-Fi, you are probably not worried about the bandwidth used by this streaming service. When you have at least 1-2Mbps download speed, you should be fine to stream the music from Spotify’s servers. However, if you are on a mobile internet connection (3G, 4G/LTE), your bandwidth might be capped and it’s important you know how much Spotify actually uses per hour or how long you can play your favourite playlists per GB you have.spotify_logo

Spotify uses three different bitrates: the higher the bitrate you select, the better the quality of the songs. But, the higher the quality, the higher the bandwidth usage will be too. These three bitrates are used by Spotify:

  • 96 kbps: this is the default quality for its mobile apps
  • 160 kbps: used on the desktop app and on the web player; or used on mobile when you choose ‘high quality’
  • 320 kbps: the highest bitrate offered and only offered to Premium members. Available on mobile too as ‘extreme quality’


Mobile application (Android, iOS)StandardHigh qualityExtreme quality
Web player (via browser)

StandardHigh quality

StandardHigh quality
Data consumptionPer minute0.72 MB1.2 MB2.4 MB
Per hour43.2 MB72.0 MB144.0 MB
Time per GB23 hours, 8 minutes13 hours, 53 minutes6 hours, 57 minutes



To decrease data consumption of Spotify, you can choose to set a higher caching limit. Also, working offline (so downloading song when you are on Wi-Fi so they are available when there is not data connection or your are using your mobile connection) can save bandwidth too when you are using the mobile iPhone or Android app.


Author Bio

Thank you for your interest in my blog! On this miniblog, I write mostly short (technical) blog posts that might interest other people. Read more about me or feel free to contact me.


15 thoughts on “Demystified: Spotify’s bandwidth usage

  1. Hi,

    Just a question re Spotify’s bandwidth usage; do you know what the payload bitrate is, i.e. the net bitrate related to the actual music you are playing? Or, is all the IP-header control information, transmission error detetection & correction/recovery etc on top of the 96/160/320 kbps bitrate? How much is the gross bitrate in that case? Most carriers will most probably charge you for every bit that is transmitted and received (if you’re not on a flat rate subscription plan of course). Thanks.

  2. I’m also starting to wonder that. I just recently got into Spotify, it’s great but I’m using my data.. how much do you figure I’d use on a monthly basis if I’m a heavy user.


  3. We monitor this on our network using Solarwinds, and the bandwidth usage per stream is between 550kbps to 700kbps. So maybe their stream is 160-320kbps, but with overhead the actual bandwidth is what I stated above. Thank you.

  4. Amazing Hosting in Australia has created an awesome bandwidth calculator, they used this page as one of their sources in order to create it. Their hosting bandwidth usage calculator allows you to punch in your numbers and work out how much money data streaming services are costing you.

    I found this blog post because they have is as one of their sources for the creation of their bandwidth calculator! If anyone else is interested check them out:

  5. I like the valuable info you provide on your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog
    and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn many new
    stuff right right here! Best of luck for the next!

  6. What is the smartest thing I can do to listen to Spotify constantly good quality
    Is there a way to stop eating up my data? Quality does matter!!!!
    I’m thinking of going to sprint to get unlimited data
    Is that what it’s going to take or is Verizon smart enough to give us a good Spotify deal
    As it is YouTube data is RAPE!!!!!

    1. You’re an asshole.

      Comparing data usage for watching other asshole’s pathetic videos to a heinous sexual crime is disgusting.

      I hope you get run over by a bus you pathetic waste of skin meat sack.

      1. Calm the hell down Scott. I can just imagine how worked up you would get if you got told something important. It would probably send you either into a murderous rage or a coma. Sheesh buddy, pull back those reigns and take some Xanax.

  7. I was very happy to discover this page. I want to
    to thank you for your time for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you
    bookmarked to see new information in your website.

  8. 320kbs is 32 KBs x 60 = 1920KB per minute 115200KB per hour or 115.2 MB per hour
    if the interfaces takes up double the band as stated above use a terminal client like
    pwittchen as it will have no pics or adds to download :)

    If you wish to know how much band you use for an internet application the first thing to understand is 8 bits to a Byte + 2 bits (start and stop bits) so 10 bits = 1 Byte
    1000 (1024 realy) Bytes to a Megabyte 1000 (1024) Megabytes to Gigabyte I understand
    not everyone is an internet expert but come one. Sizes of data is like sizes of shoes.

    I guess you can work out 96 and 160 Kbs your selves now.

  9. also I would like to add now I review the page :)
    if you use those basic sums which you can check on wikipedia if you wish
    you will notice the original authors math is wrong.

    sorry just thought it worth mentioning.

  10. Pingback: Spoticalc – Spotify bandwidth calculator – blog.ign

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *