Data Usage Depends on Streaming Quality

The amount of data your music streaming services use depends on the streaming quality settings in the application. The quality settings are measured in bitrates, which is the rate at which data is processed or transferred. The higher the bitrate, the better quality the music is when you listen to it. 

 

Each Streaming Service Is Different

When it comes to the individual music streaming services, each one has slightly different quality rates. For some, it's because of the music file types they use; for others, it's based on the subscription level for each customer.

 

How Much Data Does Pandora Use?

  • Pandora Free: Wi-Fi streams music at 128 Kpbs and will use approximately 60-70 MB per hour.
  • Pandora Free: Mobile data streams music at 64 Kpbs automatically and will use roughly 30 MB per hour.
  • Pandora Plus or Premium: Wi-Fi or mobile data uses 192 Kbps automatically and will use approximately 90 MB per hour.

Any paid Pandora account has a choice of low (32 Kpbs), standard (64 Kpbs), and high (192 Kpbs) quality streaming no matter how you're listening. It defaults to high quality unless otherwise changed. 

 

How Much Data Does Spotify Use?

Spotify offers different streaming quality options based on the listener subscription level, rather than the device they're listening to. Both free and premium accounts have automatic, low, normal, and high streaming levels, while premium gets a "very high" option on top of that.

No matter if you're listening through your desktop, smartphone, or tablet, Spotify's streams music at:

  • Automatic (free & premium): Spotify will adjust your streaming quality based on your network connection. 
  • Low (free & premium): Streams music at 24 Kbps and will use approximately 90 MB per hour (or 0.09 GB per hour).
  • Normal (free & premium): Streams music at 96 Kbps and will use approximately 345 MB per hour (or 0.35 GB per hour).
  • High (free & premium): Streams music at 160 Kbps and will use approximately 576 MB per hour (or 0.6 GB per hour).
  • Very high (premium only): Streams music at 320 Kbps and will use approximately 1.2 GB per hour.

 

How Much Data Does Apple Music Use?  

Unlike the other music streaming services, Apple Music streams at 256 Kbps no matter how you listen, meaning you'd use approximately 1 GB per hour.

 

How Much Data Does Soundsuit Use? 

At Soundsuit, for our business customers, not compromise between higher sound quality and lower data usage, so we decided to stream at 256 Kbps.

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