Is Spotify part of Music Freedom?

  • 30 August 2018
  • 6 replies

I have a Simple Choice plan with two lines.

Each line has 2GB of high speed data per month.

In my plan details it says Music Freedom is included.

1. Should Spotify count toward my high speed data usage, or should it not count because it is part of Music Freedom?

2. More specifically, should listening to music on Spotify count toward my high speed data usage or not?

3. Should listening to podcasts on Spotify count toward my high speed data usage, or not?

I found two T-Mobile pages that appear to contradict each other.

Free Unlimited Streaming | Music Freedom Simple Choice Plan | T-Mobile

This page says Music Freedom is included in the Simple Choice plan, and that Spotify is included in Music Freedom.

Music Freedom

However, this page says Spotify includes video which is part of BingeOn. But the language isn’t clear if that means only the video services are part of BingeOn or all of Spotify is part of BingeOn.

I would really appreciate help with this.


Best answer by magentatechie 30 August 2018, 20:32

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6 replies

Userlevel 4
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Hey there! I can definitely see how that can be confusing! You are safe streaming all audio from the Spotify app, including podcasts.  The bit about BingeOn refers to video streamed through Spotify if the feature applies to your account. 😊

Hi magentatechie. Thank you for replying!

If that is the case then I’m concerned there’s a problem with my account. On my line, the T-Mobile app shows I used 0.5GB, and iOS cellular data usage says 511MB, and Spotify used 375MB. No other app or system service comes close to that amount. I even checked system services. On my wife’s line, the T-Mobile app shows she used 0.9GB, and iOS cellular data usage says 929MB, and Spotify used 634MB. We both listen to only audio on Spotify. We don’t play video on it.

I‘m pretty sure iOS doesn’t know about tmobile’s Music freedom, so iOS counts all cellular data usage. Whereas the T-Mobile app does know about music freedom and should show data usage accordingly. Is that the case?

Based on this info, would you agree there might be a problem on my account? And if so, who at T-Mobile should I contact for help? What can be done to remedy what appears to be a problem that T-Mobile is counting Spotify audio data?

Thank you for your help.

Userlevel 4
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Right, it is a little tricky!  Ok, the data that you use with Music Freedom is considered "whitelisted" and doesn't count against your monthly 2GB.  The data counter you're seeing on the phone will only be accurate if you have its cycle set exactly to your T-Mobile billing cycle.

And you're right, the iOS doesn't know the difference, so it will give you your TOTAL data usage.

AND I know for sure that it's not ideal, but the application and website will only show you your total data usage as well, whitelisted and otherwise.  Care has a tool that they can view your usage as a total as well as broken up by standard data usage, BingeOn, and Music Freedom separately so if you did want more specific details about the Spotify usage, you'd have to ask them directly.  You can call 611 from your device, use the Message Us link on this page or reach out to T-Force via Facebook or Twitter.

Also important to note, as an aside, is that data used to stream the audio is whitelisted, but not the data used to navigate to the desired channel or any ads, album art, etc and it will count against your data bucket.

Hope this helps!

Hi magentatechie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all of that. I really appreciate it. Everything you have explained is very helpful.

Thanks for confirming the data used with Music Freedom, including Spotify Music and Podcasts, is whitelisted to not count against my monthly 2GB. Yep, I know what you mean about the data counter. iOS appears to get the billing cycle automatically from T-mobile, which is super handy. If I go into Settings > Cellular > Usage, the screen even says "last updated by T-mobile at 2:55 PM. Billing cycle ends on Sep 25, 2018 at 2:59 AM."

Good to know iOS does indeed only know the total data usage.

Agreed, that's not ideal the T-mo app only shows total usage. On the My-Tmobile website, on the Usage Overview page, it shows what I've used of "2GB high speed" and "Total on-network data". The page details  the latter: "Total On-Network Data refers to all the data you’ve used on the T-Mobile network during this bill cycle. It includes data used for features like Music Freedom and Binge On, which may let you stream for free without using your high speed data." What's odd is the following:

iOS cellular data usage for this period: 527.4MB (last updated at 8/30 2:55pm)

My T-Mobile Usage Overview 2GB high speed usage: 0.52 GB (ok that jives with iOS)
My T-Mobile Usage Overview Total network usage: 0.78 GB

I'll contact support via the methods you suggested and ask them directly what the usage stats are for standard data, BingeOn, and Music Freedom. I am curious to find out how much of my Spotify data usage is audio and how much is not, and contacting Care may yield that.

Thanks for mentioning that non-audio-stream data, such as ads, menus, album art data, etc do count against my data bucket. Hopefully that data isn't _that_ much. (How big could an album art image be?)

Thank you again.

Userlevel 4
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My pleasure! Post back if you need anything else! 😀

I've been in contact three times with t-mobile over a similar issue... Spotify IS counting towards my high-speed data, (obvious from my drive times and data usage from T-mobile), and once I reach my cap my Spotify stutters and does not continue to use "blazing fast speeds" per the Music Freedoms FAQ page. So frustrating!! Spotify is all I ever use for mobile data... and yes, I know navigating and album pictures are not whitelisted... this alone should not add up to over 2GB each month!!

Hope they figured out your issue. Mine they have said everything is normal, when in fact it is not.