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Spotify is cracking down on users who exploit family plan pricing

By Shawn Knight · 11 replies
Sep 28, 2018
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  1. It’s been nearly four years since Spotify announced its family plan, a discounted rate that extends membership benefits to multiple listeners. Pricing initially started at $14.99 for two users but eventually, the company sweetened the deal by allowing up to six people under a single account for the same cost.

    In the spirit of the plan, members of a family plan should presumably, well, be family members and according to Spotify’s terms and conditions, be living under the same roof.

    According to Quartz and a few other publications, Spotify has recently been sending some family member subscribers an e-mail asking them to confirm their home address via GPS. “If you don’t confirm, you may lose access to the plan,” the message reads.

    Spotify is clearly trying to crack down on users that are abusing the spirit of the family plan – say, friends that may be pitching in to lower the out-of-pocket expense versus having a single premium account. But Spotify’s approach is flawed in that it assumes all families live in the same residence. You can have family members that don’t live in your house – virtually everyone does. Just because you don’t live at the same address doesn’t mean you aren’t technically family.

    Spotify says it will only use GPS data to verify a user’s location but in this day and age of heightened privacy where many are concerned with excessive data collection practices, that isn’t very reassuring.

    Like other issues in tech, it's a problem without a clear solution.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,510   +5,076

    So all residence at the same apartment complex can take advantage. But family being temporarily split up, will be kicked from the deal.
     
    bobeck, fimbles and ShagnWagn like this.
  3. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 769   +597

    I would have privacy concerns with them storing my location, even especially when they can share to a 3rd party. Although I can see the counter argument that most companies already know your street address.

    Is this also saying that a school (college) student away from home wouldn't qualify either? Technically, at least as far as the government is concerned, they are still "living at home". How about a foreign exchange student? A kid who stays with their grandparents or campgrounds for the summer? I can think of numerous examples.

    This sounds to be all about their love of money. Are they not getting enough profit or something? Does the MPAA RIAA really need more cash in their Scrooge McDuck vault?
     
  4. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,194   +209

    GPS spoofing is pretty beginner friendly and has many apps available. Silly idea.
     
  5. frostyshield

    frostyshield TS Booster Posts: 87   +89

    GPS relocation apps maybe see a increase lol
     
    fimbles likes this.
  6. Thorney

    Thorney TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +14

    In the UK students away from home who are over 18 don't count as 'living at home' they need to pay their own taxes etc so it makes sense here so maybe its the same in Sweden. Spotify arent a US company it isn't always about the US.
     
  7. bobeck

    bobeck TS Rookie

    I guess the real question is why when I don't think the competition does, someone correct me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly certain I remember us using amazon music unlimited family plan for a few months at the same price point for me, her and 3 kids and amazon didn't have any extra address/location hoops to jump through.
     
  8. Adi6293

    Adi6293 TS Maniac Posts: 242   +217

    Why don't change it back to 2 or 3 people max?
     
  9. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 61   +29

    Go visit "home" for a bit, verify your address while there, and then leave.
    They didn't say you can't use their service while away from "home", did they?
     
  10. Badvok

    Badvok TS Maniac Posts: 298   +155

    So what they are saying is that it is a Household Plan rather than a Family Plan? Why don't they call it that then?
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 769   +597

    Thank you for the education, but spotify is also available in the US, which I why I used it as a minor point. :)
     
  12. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 490   +38

    That is the point -_-.

    All the facepalms.

    The point is that the members are all under the same roof. Look at it as a Landline phone that anyone in the house can use (a landline phone, for the younger readers, is a phone that is attached to the wall that you cannot take with you).

    This highlighted even more in the fact that users on the family plan do not have to be family, but just have to live in the same residence according to their T&C's: "Get Premium accounts for you and up to five people who reside at your same address. Terms & Conditions apply"

    I think the author has made assumptions and written an opinion piece based on those assumptions without first marking the article as such. Oh, Mr Knight, as irony would have it, this is what you would call "begging the question" :p.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018

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