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Spotify uses excessive Cellular Date over Wifi

Spotify uses excessive Cellular Date over Wifi



I have recently signed up for Spotify premium in order to stream my favorite albums, instead of having to sync them to my iPhone 5. I have noticed that while streaming music on my iPhone, while connected to Wifi, Spotify is still using my cellular data.. I have a 3 gigabit plan and I have already gone over an extra 3 gigabits, which has never happened as I barely go over a gigabit per month in the 6 years I have used iPhones and streaming music services. I rarely use spotify on my cellular network, as I do not like paying extra on my phone bill due to money constraints, these times are tough.

As you can see in the screenshots below, I have already used 919 MB with Spotify after 5 p.m. Yesterday. I got off of work at 5 p.m. and I was home the entire time on my Wifi network. Even if my Wifi was down, which it wasn't as I was playing a single game of Minecraft on xbox live the whole night until 1 a.m. Without disconnections, how can playing 5 songs, through the night, and one album, before I go to bed, use so much data? I looked into my settings and I am also using the low quality files: 96 Kbps Ogg format.


How does this make sense:

96 Kbps in Ogg format

.72 MB/minute

919MB in data usage in 14 hours 5 p.m. - 7 a.m. (When I woke up to the extra charges)

919 divided by .72 = 1,276.388888... 

divide that by 60 minutes to get hours

21.273 hours of streaming 


For further research:

160 Kbps = 12 hours of straight streaming

320 Kbps (Extreme)= 6 hours of straight streaming



photo 2.PNG


photo 3.PNG

768 MB in one hour? on my way to work...


photo 4.PNG

photo 1.PNG 


There is seriously something wrong with the Spotify app using my data while on Wifi. This has given me $30 in charges in the past few days. My first thought was to contact AT&T in order to get an explanation, until I looked at how much data Spotify is using. I cannot sort my recently listened songs by a date and time so I cannot do any further research. This is up to the Spotify team to determine, as they have the data on file. I have looked all over the website and app for a direct communications operation but I am only directed to a FAQ and these forums. I will not continue using a premium account for such a headache. Please assist me as I would like to use this service. Reimbursement is logical, but AT&T is not responsible for these issues. Spotify is. 


Thank you,


Shawn Crawford

17 Replies

Unfortunately this is an open bug, the Spotify team are aware of extreme data usage on iOS. If you could add your details to the bugs topic that would be most appreciated. 

Spotify Community Mentor and Troubleshooter

Spotify Last.FM Twitter LinkedIn Meet Peter Rock Star Jam 2014

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Yes a needed fix. MOG had it and Beats Music has it.
I now have to disable cellular Spotify. ???

It makes no sense.
iPhone user.

The extreme data usage bug for iOS should be fixed post v0.9.3.

Are you still getting extreme usage?

Spotify Community Mentor and Troubleshooter

Spotify Last.FM Twitter LinkedIn Meet Peter Rock Star Jam 2014

If this post was helpful, please add kudos below!

Same problem not a happy camper, over $80 in charges over the last two months!! All while on a wi fi connection. This is BS !!



I just encoutered the same issue, but your post is quite old, but I was wondering if you know if it happens again ?

or should I do something in particular ?



I have never had it happen again because there is a button under settings
"Download Using Cellular" that must be checked to off" that way Music only
downloads to your device when your connected to Wi Fi Please make sure
that you also select the "Make available offline button" on your albums,
songs and playlists so that the Music will download to your device when
your on Wi Fi therefor not costing you money for excessive cell data when
your playing music when not connected to Wi Fi.

Good, I will double check, thanks !

I've just had this over the last three months too. On an android phone. Use cellular turned off. And I only use it at home, where there's WiFi. I can't swear to the other make available setting as I've uninstalled it. But common sense surely says that "use cellular data" being off, should be sufficient to not use ANY data at all! I'd have thought this particular setting would be a black and white thing, not have a separate setting that can affect the data usage (assuming that is what has caused it). I've used nearly all of my data allowance, for the month, in four or five days. Since this post started in 2014, and this is something that can cost users a lot of money, I think it's a poor effort.

Just as an FYI. This still appears to be an issue. I signed up for a premium account and have been using the IOS app on my wifi at home and it is crushing my cellular data... I have now turned off cellular data usage rights for Spotify in the IOS settings menu. This isn't something I should have to mess with as an end user. Having a mobile developer background, I know it is not difficult to determine which connection type is available and select accordingly. I am also aware that the new Wi-Fi Assist could come into play for IOS 9, but according to my device and the MB used it doesn't appear to be an issue. 

Is this still an issue on Spotify for iOS? I suspect my Spotify app is still accessing cellular to some extent even when I'm supposed to be using only Wi-Fi (especially when I'm at home or work where my Wi-Fi signals are excellent). I've turned off the 'cellular data' switch within the iOS settings just to be sure but hope this isn't a bug that hasn't been squashed in the app. 

I cheated a bit, by uninstalling Spotify from my phone, and installing it
on my tablet (a WiFi only tablet that is). Obviously not the ideal answer
for everyone, but works for me.

I have never had a problem since I switched off the Cell data. Awesome app.

Yes, that appears to be the 'ultimate workaround'. Having said that, that is what I did for awhile. When I advised Spotify of the problem I was seeing (ie. cellular data being used even though it was turned off within the Spotify app, rather than within iOS settings for Spotify), they advised me that my Spotify cache was somehow corrupted and to delete the app and any registered devices within my Spotify account. They then advised me to reinstall the app and reload my songs. Since then, my cellular data is not being used for already downloaded songs (since I only want them to be downloaded via wifi). Hope this makes sense...


I have both "no cellular" in iOS settings and spotify's "no celullar". Playing only downloaded songs. Still eating data plan like crazy!

You'd think that a big outfit like Spotify wouldn't let something like this
go on for years. It could (has) cost their app customers a lot of money.

My daughter who normally does not give over on her data has had several months where it has gone over. Looking at the bill, it is from when she is listening to Spotify at home with WiFi and cellular data turned off!  How can it be using data when it is on WiFi and does not have permission to use data. This is a huge problem and needs to be addressed immediately. A class action suit is coming soon because a lot of people have paid extra charges because of this app. Please give me a way to stop the data usage 



I wasn't aware of the possibility of Spotify using cellular data when the
phone is set not to use 3g or 4g at all. I'm not sure that it's possible.
I'd have thought off is off in that respect. You should be able to look at
the phones data usage in settings to double check which app has used the
data. As I said before in a previous post, using a WiFi only tablet is the
best guarantee. As you say, I can't believe that nothing seems to be being
done about this. It's a major problem, that's been flagged up for literally



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