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Spotify Adheres to Your Privacy, but Here’s the Catch

Spotify is a music streaming service that brings you over 30 million songs in ad-free quality. What makes it stand out from other services is that you can create your own playlists for free and download any song on the site to listen to offline, without ads (Groove Shark).

This is what makes Spotify so popular and loved by many. Spotify has over 40 million paying customers (Spotify). It should be noted that Spotify makes all their money off of advertisements. They make no money off the free version, but by utilizing ad-supported streaming they are able to offer a product for free. This way more people will use it and thus make more money.

How to Check Your Listening History on Spotify when You’re Not a Premium User

This is the big controversy I will be discussing. Spotify, unlike other music streaming sites such as Pandora, adheres to your privacy and does not reveal what songs you are listening to. There is no way for them to find out what song you are listening too or how long you have been listening for.

Even if your boyfriend/girlfriend, significant other, or friend pays for the premium service and uses your account to listen to songs you will not be informed of what songs they are listening to. What this implies is that Spotify does not take your privacy lightly and will do anything in their power to protect it.

The Catch With This Process

However, this process has a double edged sword. If you are listening to music on your desktop or laptop Spotify can not see what songs you are listening to, but if you login with the same account on mobile it will show you everything, but does not reveal what song is playing. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone who uses your account to have access to your individual song history no matter how many times they login to their own premium account.

Can you see who Listens to Your Playlist on Spotify

No, you can not see who listens to your playlist on Spotify. Even if you create a private playlist and share it with someone they will have no access to what songs are in the list unless they individually click on each song that is added.

This means that even though Spotify allows you to share playlists with friends by merely emailing them a link they will not be able to see what songs are in the list.

Spotify Premium vs. Free? The Differences That Matter Most

It’s important to note that Spotify offers a premium service. There are many posts online stating that if you have the free version of Spotify all your music will seek ads. This is false. If you have the free version of Spotify there are only two differences that matter in regards to your privacy when compared with having the premium version:

  • Your listening history will not be kept private
  • You will be exposed to more ads

However, the service is so well done that it does not diminish enjoyment of the app. Many people prefer using Spotify as their primary music listening application and thus pay for the premium version. It’s important to note that there are many people who do not like ads and thus stick to the free version. It’s not for everyone, but it has continued to stand out in a crowded market due to its accessibility, quality of music, and unique algorithm that allows users to keep up with their friends music they are listening too at any given moment.


Spotify is a great music player with a proven track record and strong desire for users to have the best experience possible. They do not take your privacy lightly and will go out of their way to ensure that no one has access to your song history except yourself. If you enjoy the free version of Spotify or if you pay $9.99 a month for the premium version the only difference that matters is that your listening history will not be kept private. If you dislike ads, however, it’s important to recognize that Spotify will play more ads in order to stay a free service and maintain its ease of use.