For $5, you can buy ¾ of a large coffee from Starbucks. Or, you could have unlimited streaming from Spotify for a month. This seems almost too good to be true … but wait! There’s more. Through hours of exploration and child-like curiosity, I’ve found that unlimited streaming is only the enticing base of the world’s premier music streaming platform.

On top of unlimited streaming, premium allows listeners to download any song, album, or podcast. Growing up in the age of Apple’s musical monopoly, charging $1.29 per download, Spotify’s unlimited download feature is like my golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s record shop; Spotify’s unlimited downloads has made me a “kid in a candy shop.”

With over 100 million users, Spotify is the stud quarterback of the music streaming industry. One of the key aspects of Spotify’s success is its user friendly platform. Their mobile touch screen shortcuts (swipe right to save a song, swipe left to queue it) allows users to spent less time organizing their queue (now called adding to “Up Next,” which is almost an insulting simplification) and more time listening to it.

Recently, I accidentally found a high quality streaming option in the settings widget. When I switched my sound quality from standard to extreme, I didn’t really expect much of an upgrade; but walking to class with this new power I was thoroughly confused when my $14.99 Sony airport headphones sounded exactly like my Audio Technicas. The high quality streaming option even offers an extreme download option that redownloads your previously downloaded songs to the higher quality that you selected. This high quality streaming works by increasing the amount of kbits of data per second,equating to a more intricate, detailed song. Be wary of LTE listening, though, because higher quality streaming means more data usage.

Spotify’s popularity comes from more than just its accessible user interface. Its discover tools, although well-known by most users, is sadly unexplored. It’s easy for listeners to get stuck in the rut of Discover Weekly: I know of people that solely get their new music from Discover Weekly, so each new weekly playlist is based on the last one. One of Spotify’s most impressive features is their nearly unlimited resources for discovering new music. Even more impressive, Spotify’s algorithms curate this discovery to each individual listener. If you scroll down on your discover section of Spotify (within the browse tab) the app has a plethora of curated options, just for you: the first option is literally labeled “Playlists Made Just for You,” where you can find your Discover Weekly and Release Radar. Next level down, Spotify provides 20 albums which they designate as “Top Recommendations for You.” And after that, Spotify doles out about 50 albums based on artists similar to the ones you are currently listening to.

Outside of the “browse” option, Spotify provides a unique discovery option with every song. In the right corner of each song, there is an option to “Go to Radio” in which an algorithm determines songs that are similar to the one you selected. Like Pandora, song radio can be adapted to the songs you thumb up and thumb down. A different type of discovery is available through artist bios, where you learn about the life of an artist, and find artists similar to them.

While unlimited streaming for $4.99/month is astonishing, this is still just the surface of Spotify’s action packed platform. Spotify Premium gives you an incredible amount of options to take total control of your music listening experience. If “bang for your buck” had a playlist, Spotify would curate it.



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