Ah, subscriptions. Every day subscription services in the music and media industry receive new customers, all willing to pay money for a service that gives them something they want in a convenient way – whether that’s through services like Xbox Live and EA Access, or others like Netflix or Amazon. Nevertheless, with so many subscriptions available, and many of us already signed up to more than one, is another subscription service really something you should be looking to tie yourself into?
Of course, the answer to that won’t be the same for everyone, and whilst some will baulk at the thought of another monthly expenditure and stay well away, there will be others that look at a Spotify subscription on Xbox One as another great feature that helps make things even more convenient. As for those of you in the middle however, making the choice to buy into something new isn’t always an easy decision, especially when you aren’t sure on what to expect. So with that in mind, let’s take a look to see just what a Spotify subscription brings to the Xbox One, and if it’s worth the asking price.
What is Spotify?
By now, whether you’re a subscriber or not, you would have at least heard of Spotify.
Spotify is a simple to use, on-demand music streaming service, that allows subscribers to listen to the music of their choice from millions of songs and thousands of artists, via the use of the Spotify app or the online website. Availability ranges from mobiles, tablets and computers to now the humble console, with most devices able to access Spotify in one way or another.
What are the key features?
Whilst Spotify is a simple service to use, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have depth to what it offers. Users are able to search for music in many different ways, besides the expected search bar, such as mood, genre, new releases, playlists and history. Of course, the search bar is the quickest way to get to a specific song or artist for anyone looking for something in particular. Nevertheless, having options is certainly not something to be shunned and makes for a much more accessible experience.
Other than searching for music, Spotify has options to have music played back via video mode or audio mode, with video mode showing the songs official music videos. Video mode comes in 240p, 360p or 720p. There are also filters available for music with options for Live, Acoustic, Remix, Acapella and many more.
Another key feature is that of saved music. Every song on Spotify can be saved to a user’s music library, and doing this is the way you’re going to keep your music collection with you at all times. When you save a song, that track is added to the list of songs in Saved Music – convenient right? This acts very much like an owned collection, with users then able to scroll down their list on any device and play their favourite songs, with changes recognised across all devices.
Possibly the biggest feature of all however, is the ability to play Spotify in the background. For those amongst us who like to listen to music whilst playing our favourite games, Spotify can be set to background use, with skipping tracks, and music volume then available in the Xbox Guide menu.
How reliable is it?
After spending a large amount of time with both the PC and PlayStation apps which both run seamlessly, it’s fair to say the same experience has now arrived on Xbox One. The Xbox One Spotify app is quick, responsive, and easy to use. That said, there are occasions in which an artist or song search will come up with nothing more than a tribute band, however these instances are due to licensing rather than a problem with the service, and most artists can be found with relative ease, with the only ones I wasn’t able to find being those that aren’t widely recognised.
Overall the service is exceptionally reliable, with saved music accessible from any device.
How much does it cost and is it worth it?
It all depends on what music means to you.
A basic Spotify membership is free and so it’ll cost nothing to hop aboard the Xbox One App. However options are limited and skipping tracks also has a limit per day.
Those not wanting limited track skips, or adverts interrupting their listening, can of course opt-in to the Spotify Premium service. Spotify Premium removes all ads from the experience and allows users to skip songs as many times as they wish. As expected this doesn’t come free, with a £9.99 per month price tag accompanying the Premium service for a single user, or a £14.99 per month price tag for the family deal which offers unlimited access for the whole family with up to six accounts. Of course, stumping up £9.99 for a music service that you are only going to use on your Xbox might sound expensive for some, but the value for many will come down to importance of music, and how you feel regarding advertisements. And besides, if you are already fully ingrained with the Spotify way of life, then there is no extra charge for taking your music to your console.
So, will you be signing up for a Spotify membership? Do you already have one and are now using it on Xbox One? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels.