Spotify Increases User Surveillance to Crack Down Against Family Plan Abuse

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Spotify’s Family Plan members are now subject to random location verifications.

The change was included deep in Spotify’s terms of service update in August.  Now, everyone who signs up for a family plan must show proof they share the same address — and will be subject to random location checks throughout their memberships. The goal is to crack down on family plan sharing between friends, who pool together to save.

Last year Spotify sent out warnings to those it suspected of abusing the family plan. Those users were asked to verify their coordinates via GPS, but the test ended over privacy concerns. Now it appears as though Spotify is verifying user location through Google Maps.

Here’s a peek at the notification family member users are seeing. Users must verify their address to continue using the family plan.

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Spotify’s $15/month plan allows for up to six people to share a single account. The fine print says family members must reside at the same address to be eligible. That would cut off college students from their parents family plan, for example. Spotify wants to move those people over to the discounted student plan, where they can graduate into their own fully-paid account later.

All new family plan accounts are being asked to verify their address via Google Maps.  Spotify says it reserves the right to ask for re-verification from time to time.  If you fail to meet the criteria, Spotify may suspend or terminate the family plan altogether.

Reports last year surfaced that nearly half of all streaming customers use Spotify’s family plan.  Being able to pool six users under one subscription cost has undoubtedly attracted lots of abuse.

With Spotify’s recent three-month free trial extended to spur growth, the company is under increased pressure to boost its ARPU. One way to do that is to crack down hard on blatant family plan abuses. The plan could backfire though; an increasingly privacy-conscious user base means people could switch to a rival like Apple Music or Tidal.

6 Responses

  1. ISayuSay

    LOL, good luck to you Spotify hitchhikers. I use Apple Music and I love Apple being a big company with deep pocket. Apple is really strict with users privacy and the Family Sharing has been around way before Apple Music or Spotify family plan.

    You see with Apple, their services are a mere medium to lock you into their ecosystem. Pay $10 or $5 a month for their service (which is dirt cheap if you know Apple) and because it works very well within their ecosystem, you’ll keep buying another iPhone, Apple TV, or Homepod or iPad or Apple Watch and that’s the long term goal.

    I even buy a new car specifically for the native Carplay support. That’s just how deep I invested in Apple products. With Spotify though, music streaming is its only bread and butter. It loses, it dies. And it shows just how penny-pinching Spotify can be. They despise the fact that friends and colleagues share their family plan because they can’t afford to lose more money.

    Apple and Google can afford such things. So if you love Spotify that much, stop being stingy and pay for a full price, or switch to Apple Music, or Youtube Music if you want the family plan. It’s that easy.

      • iSayuSat

        Even if it’s true what’s wrong with that? I’m in bed with apple, putting my dick inside it and booyyy it feels good. This is my bed and I can choose whatever I want to do with it

        • Piss Off

          Your company is full of thieves
          Enjoy what come out of that hole you’ve stuck yourself into

  2. Anon

    So Spotify can steal from Independents with immunity
    But they want to keep you from using the service any way YOU want???
    Looks like the rumors are true
    Those new member numbers are fudged
    Looks like someone is getting desperate to get those numbers up
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
    Bye Bye Spotify
    Get your money out

  3. Apple = dumb fanbase

    Apple music is a joke. Used it for 2 months and it just plain sucked Apple, stinky hippy, fanbase nutsack, and low intelligence millenial gooch grease. Apple users are quick to eat and feast upon “clever marketing”. In other words, make it flashy, shiny and look like its a trend and they will eat it up like dollar menu food.