April 29, 2018
How much data does music streaming use? (2018 edition)
We take a look at the data usage for the major music streaming services in Australia. Unlike most major video streaming services, music streaming services often don’t make the exact data requirements for audio playback easily available to browse.
This is quite possibly a necessary practice, due to a mix of using different codecs and various audio bitrates, where larger numbers can sometimes erroneously be associated with better quality.
Thankfully, music streaming providers are more willing to talk about the audio bitrates, which means, with a bit of maths, we can determine a rough idea of data usage in practical scenarios for the major services in Australia.
racks downloaded from the iTunes Store and Apple Music are both offered in 256kbps bitrate, using the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec.
This means that an hour of 256kbps music streaming of Apple Music would use up approximately 115MB.
To use up one gigabyte of data, you’d have to listen to approximately 8.5 hours of Apple Music.
There’s an option for lower bitrate playback on mobile devices, but these lower bitrates have not been disclosed.