How to Reduce Cellular Data Usage When Streaming Music

By | February 23, 2022

If you’re on a limited data plan, there are a few tricks you can use to keep your mobile data usage under control. One of the worst culprits is music streaming apps. However, by using the instructions below, you can also keep it to a minimum.

To make sure your music streaming app uses as little mobile data as possible, you’ll need to change the audio quality of your preferred streaming app. If you know you’re running out of data at the end of the month, you can also set streaming to Wi-Fi only.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage on Spotify

With a Spotify premium account, you can save playlists for offline listening. But if you’re not sure if Spotify Premium is worth it, you can still adjust the bitrate when streaming music to reduce data usage.

Tap the button Settings (which looks like a tooth), then open it Music Quality and select Low under section Streaming. Your music will play at a bitrate of around 24 kbit/s, compared to Normal at 96 kbit/s and High at 160 kbit/s.

You can also turn off the option to Download Using Cellular so your phone only downloads music when connected to Wi-Fi.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage on Google Play Music

open Google Play Music and tap the button Home. Then open the menu in the upper left corner, go to Settings, and scroll to section Streaming & downloading. Open options Mobile networks stream quality and select Low.

Under section Streaming & downloading, you can also activate the feature to Cache during playback, which means your phone stores the song for a short time after you play it. That way, it doesn’t use any data to play the song multiple times.

If you don’t want to use mobile data streaming music at all, enable the option to Stream via Wi-Fi only. You must also enable the option to Download only on Wi-Fi.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage on Amazon Music

Amazon Music does use your data, but it doesn’t tell you what the specific bitrate is so it’s hard to say how much it uses. However, you can still select the Data Saver option to reduce Amazon Music data usage.

Tap Three Dots (…) in the upper right corner to open the menu and go to Settings > Streaming Audio Quality. Under section Mobile Data, choose Data Saver. It reduces your data usage when streaming music from Amazon.

If you also don’t want to download music over cellular data, go back to Settings and tap Download Audio Quality. Then turn on the option for Download only on Wi-Fi.

Reduce Mobile Data Usage on YouTube Music

YouTube Music lets you stream music and watch music videos at the same time. With a premium subscription, you can download music offline or listen to music while your device is locked. YouTube Music only lets you change the streaming quality with a premium subscription.

Tap the button Home, then tap the icon Profile in the upper right corner. open Settings > Playback and restrictions. Change Audio quality on mobile data to Low. You can also choose to stop loading music videos, which can reduce a lot of data usage, by enabling the option Don’t play music videos.

You may need to change the settings in the YouTube app as well if you are interested in that rather than the YouTube Music app. Tap your profile picture to open the menu, then go to Settings and make sure Play HD on Wi-Fi only.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage on Apple Music

Apple Music doesn’t give listeners control over playback quality, but you can turn off cellular data usage for streaming or downloads. This method is slightly different for iPhone and Android devices.

On iPhone, open the app Settings and open Music > Cellular Data.

On an Android device, go to Apple Music then tap Three Dots (…) in the upper right corner.

Turn off Cellular Data to stop using Apple Music with your cellular data completely. Or leave it on and off option Streaming. You can also turn off Downloads, so Apple Music only uses cellular data to update your library and artwork.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage on Pandora

When you listen to Pandora for free or with a Pandora Plus account, you can choose between Standard and High Quality audio. However, a Pandora Premium account gives you more control over your data usage with Low, Standard, and High options.

Pandora explains how much data each thesis choice uses on its website. Low quality streaming music at 32 kbit/s, Standard streaming at 64 kbit/s, and High streaming at 192 kbit/s.

To change data usage when streaming music, go to Pandora and tap the button Profile, then open Settings > Advanced. Under Cell Network Audio Quality, disable option High quality audio.

If you have a premium subscription, go to Audio Quality and Downloads and select audio quality Low.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage on Deezer

A premium Deezer subscription unlocks high-quality audio, but even without premium you can reduce data usage by streaming lower-than-standard quality music. To do so, open the app Deezer and open tab Favorites.

Tap the icon Settings in the upper right corner, then open Audio settings. Under the title Audio Quality, tap options Custom to make custom settings. Then change Streaming over Mobile Network and Download over Mobile Network to Basic, which streams music at 64 kbit/s.

Back to Settings, you must also disable the option for Download over mobile network.

Reduce Cellular Data Usage On Tidal

Tidal is one of the best music streaming services for audiophiles. This means it can wreak havoc on your data usage. While there are no low-quality options in Tidal, you can revert to standard bitrates to reduce your mobile data usage.

To do so, open the app Tidal and open tab My Collection. Tap the button Settings in the upper right corner, then scroll down to the section Quality. Under Streaming, change quality Cellular to Normal. Then go back to settings and turn off the option for Download over Cellular.

Other Ways to Reduce Cellular Data Usage

Music streaming is often one of the biggest sources of mobile data usage. Using the tips above to reduce audio quality on your favorite music streaming service can reduce your data usage.

If you’re still using too much mobile data each month, you may need to look at other apps on your device. Maybe social media is to blame or maybe it’s to a cloud-based photo library. Check out our list of helpful tips for reduce battery usage and mobile data usage to find out how to fix your problem.