How to Save Money While Streaming Music Online

Headphones on a desk next to a computer

Music streaming services are a great alternative to actually buying songs or albums. Instead of spending around $10/album or $1/song, you can pay a monthly subscription fee to listen to music on your phone or computer.


Just a heads-up that some of the services we’re reviewing here have affiliate partnerships with us, so we may earn a commission if you visit one of them and buy something. You can read more about how this works at

Here are a few of the most popular music streaming services:

  1. Spotify – Spotify offers both free and paid memberships to listen to their library of millions of songs. You can use their service on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  2. Pandora – Pandora is an online music service that offers automatic music recommendations based on what you listen to.
  3. Tidal – Tidal claims to be the music streaming service that gives the most back to the artists themselves. The service is owned by a group of music artists, including rapper Jay-Z.
  4. Apple Music – A music streaming service developed by the same creators as iTunes, Apple Music offers curated playlists of songs and Internet radio streaming.

Popular music streaming services logos

Many music streaming services offer both free and paid memberships, or free trials to new users. However, regardless of whether you choose to sign up for a free or paid service, it can end up costing you money in the long run. We’re going to tell you about some ways you can save money when streaming music online. But first, let’s discuss how exactly free music streaming services can cost money.

How can free music streaming cost money?

Music streaming can cost money even when the service itself is free. This is because of data usage – streaming music on your mobile device requires an Internet connection. If you have a small amount of data, or if you stream music constantly, you may end up being charged for excess data usage.

Another issue you may run into with free music streaming is that if you sign up for a free trial from a music streaming service and forget or neglect to cancel your membership before your free trial expires, you can end up being charged for your membership. Most streaming services operate this way, thinking you’ll enjoy your trial so much, and forget the exact date you need to cancel by before you start being charged.

Now that we’ve talked about some of the ways music streaming can cost money, let’s get into some of the ways you can save money when streaming music online.

6 ways to save money streaming music

1. Sign up for free trials.

Many streaming services offer free trials to new users. When looking for a streaming service to try out, see if they have a free trial or free membership option. If you’re not tied to using one service exclusively, you could just use free trials and switch to a different service when your free trial runs out. Just remember to cancel your membership before your trial runs out so you don’t end up getting charged for a service you don’t want to continue using.

Free trial offer

2. Sign up for emailing lists.

Sometimes, services will offer sales or discounts on their membership fees. To stay updated on when sales are happening, sign up for email lists or newsletters for your favorite music streaming services. You may be able to get a coupon or promotional price on a premium membership.

3. Connect to Wi-Fi when possible.

If you’re at home, work, or a public place like a coffee shop or library, you’ll likely be able to connect to a Wi-Fi network. When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you won’t be using up your cellular data, so this is a great way to reduce data usage. Check your device frequently to see when Wi-Fi networks are available.

4. Download songs while on Wi-Fi.

If the service you use to stream music online allows you to download or save songs to listen to offline, do so when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. This way, you can download some songs before you leave the house and listen to them while you’re out – even if you don’t have Internet available – and it saves you money too!

5. Keep an eye on your data usage.

Monitor your data usage to ensure you don’t go over your limit. Check your device’s data usage before, during, and after streaming music to get an idea of how much data you’re using when streaming for a certain amount of time. Generally, streaming music uses less data than watching a video, but it all adds up.

Monitor your data usage

6. Set up data usage notifications.

If you don’t want to have to check up on your data usage levels periodically, or if you’re worried you’ll forget, look in to setting up notifications for it. This way, you’ll be notified if you’re getting close to reaching your limit, and you’ll get reminders when your usage has reached a certain amount. Data notifications are a great way to save yourself from going over your limit and having to pay overage fees.


That wraps up this article on ways to save money streaming music online. Have any other tips we missed? If so, tell us about them in the comment section. For helpful courses on entertainment services like Spotify and Pandora, check out the rest of our website!

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