Spotify free vs Spotify premium: What's the difference?

Spotify made big changes to its platform on Wednesday, revamping the way its mobile applications work to draw more users.

Smartphone and tablet users previously needed to subscribe to a Premium account to play tracks through their devices, but the service has added the same system it employs for its desktop apps to mobile - making limited features available free of charge

There are now three tiers of Spotify listening: Mobile free, Desktop and tablet free, and Premium. You may be wondering why you'd need to pay for a Spotify subscription, which costs $9.99/£9.99 a month. Pocket-lint has the breakdown. 

Mobile free

The Mobile free tier of Spotify's service covers its apps found on iOS and Android. Windows Phone doesn't appear to be supported.

Anyone will be able to use a Spotify account on mobile to "shuffle play" a playlist, Pandora-like radio, or an artist's catalogue. You will have the option to skip tracks, but not select chosen tracks individually. It could take a lot of skipping to find a specific song. 

Spotify has built itself on playlists, and it isn't skimping on that feature in the free version. We know all of our readers are huge Miley Cyrus fans - you'll be able to separate the music goddess's tracks into a specific playlist. Again, just skipping when inside the playlist, no choosing tracks specifically. 

Being a free service, advertisements are found on the Mobile free tier. Offline listening isn't available either, meaning you'll have to stream audio over a Wi-Fi or cellular network. 

Desktop and tablet free

Spotify's Desktop and tablet free tier is what has been available for free to desktop users for years - and is also now extending to tablets. 

If you create a Spotify account, you'll have the ability to play any song you want on demand with advertisements every so often. Unlike the Mobile free tier, there's no shuffling on an artist's page unless you want to - which is a good thing.

Create your own playlists and Pandora-like radio are available too. Don't expect to go offline - you'll have to stream audio over a Wi-Fi or cellular network. 

Premium $9.99 / £9.99

For the real music junkies, Spotify's Premium tier gives access to everything there is to offer without any advertisements butting in on desktop, mobile, and tablet. You can "shuffle play" any playlist or artist's catalogue, listen to the Pandora-like radio to find new tunes, create your own playlists, and play any song on demand. 

No ads, you say?! Yes, it is pretty awesome to be able to search for any song on demand without hearing about the latest product you don't need.

With the premium tier you also get the "highest quality audio" and can download music and listen to it offline.

Spotify said in July that more than 20 per cent of the people who use the service regularly end up buying subscriptions.

Which tier are you choosing?