Should I avoid Spotify?

I love music, and I love the convenience of streaming services. I use Spotify for pretty much all my music, though I make sure to give it fake data (i.e. an email alias, using a VPN while using the service, a fake name, and paying with gift cards I purchase in cash).

Is this enough privacy-wise? Or would it be better to look for something more private (I heard Apple Music has slightly better privacy but I’m not too sure). I really don’t want to have to download/buy/pirate music as the convenience of looking up a song and playing it is just too damn good for me to give up. What is your experience like?

1 Like

Its enough.
Think of privacy like minimalism, if it brings you benefit, keep it, except with us is does it fit your threat model.
Your already doing a great job with the alias, gift cards VPN etc etc, Spotify likely still has some strings to who you are, but I dont think its something major.
I still use spotify and not as much as a privacy way as you, I still use a card.

I think you took some great steps. Obviously Spotify will still track you (unless you block telemetry and stuff), but it would be harder to have that information tied back to you.

BTW, do you use the Spotify app or in the browser (PWA)?

I don’t think that’s possible because you are streaming content from their services and what you watch is tied to an account, so absent some government mandated no-tracking option, you will still be tracked.


That makes sense, thanks for clarifying.

Tbh the best reason to avoid Spotify isn’t privacy, but to stop supporting a company that rakes in billions while paying artists very little. Buying merch and vinyl would be a more cost effective way to support artists.


So true! Especially with smaller indie artists, they’re literally paid cents for every song that gets streamed

As others have mentioned, it really depends how comfortable you are with Spotify’s privacy policy, and if it aligns with your thread model; even though you’ve taken good steps to minimize the data you give them, it’s almost impossible to completely elude their tracking so long as you use their services

I’m also in the same situation as you, i love music but i stopped using streaming services (i don’t trust Apple either), so for now i just buy the songs/albums i like on Bandcamp, at least this way it supports the artist

Weren’t they just bought by Epic Games?

They were, but they were recently sold again, to a company called Songtradr (trying to find a link)

Sadly they aren’t any better, but i use it for now, reluctantly

1 Like

Isn’t that the record companies’ fault though?

The record companies are complicit but they aren’t the only problem with music distribution. The entire system is exploiting artists to take a large cut out of their work. Streaming services often work with record labels to this end.

I recommend Torrents

1 Like

Torrenting music is far less convenient, and also doesn’t support the artists in any capacity. If you listen to hundreds of new songs every week like I do, torrenting just isn’t an option.


Tidal pays a fair amount more than spotify or apple music.

1 Like

It’s impossible to tell since they don’t pay a constant amount per listen. That’s just a statistic that’s getting aggregated across all users. It’s entirely possible Spotify has exclusive deals to give a bigger chunk depending on the record label they’re negotiating with. Also smaller platforms like Tidal have to split a smaller pool of ad revenue between artists. Tidal had an option to directly give to artists but iirc it was removed some time ago.

Should I avoid Spotify?
If you have a satisfactory alternative, why not.
But for me there is no alternative other than Deezer or Apple Music (if you use the Apple universe). And then the question is more of a choice between plague and cholera

Yeah I used Tidal back when I could have the Brazilian price while living in Europe. Good times.

These days I use Spotify installed from xManager. The day that stops working I’ll probably go back to Tidal.

No idea how they stand against each other when it comes to privacy, however, but I doubt they are all that different.

Personally, I use spot-dl to download all my Spotify songs to disk using a TOR proxy and store it on my Jellyfin server.

You can request all the data Spotify has on you if you are curious. It can take up to 2 weeks for them to get all your info back but that will include streaming history, device info, IP, etc.

Look into your threat model. What types of information are you looking to protect here? It looks like you are doing enough but know that trhey can still track device usage/telemetry.

For me, I recently stopped using Spotify not for privacy reasons, but because of their shoddy business practices (Joe Rogan, poor artist treatment, etc). I’ve been self-hosting my own music again since last year and it’s been fine so far. Not as nice as Spotify/Apple Music/Tidal, but it works just fine for my needs.

I did a data dump recently to see what Spotify had on me. The amount of data is quite staggering, especially how readily available it is. If you’re using Spotify or any of the other mainstream music streaming services, just assume everything you do is tracked and logged, including what your music interests are based on the music you play, social connections, location data, etc.

I’ve since switched to downloading the music I listen to or I just use Invidious (3rd party Youtube front-end). It sucks initially, but as with many things in the privacy community, you’ll get used to.

You could set up a synchronization tool such as Syncthing and synchronize a Music folder and that way automatically have the music available on all devices, including mobile.

1 Like