Sharing Spotify’s Family Premium Plan with friends seems like a good idea. In Brazil, the subscription costs R $ 26.90 per month and creates accounts for up to six users. But it is not so simple: the service only allows the subscription to be shared by people who live in the same place. Even GPS has been used to check that everyone has a single address.
This is what some users have recently discovered. In the past few days, Spotify has sent emails to certain subscribers in the United States and Germany asking them to prove their home locations using location data via GPS. In case of non-proof, the family subscription can simply be canceled.
Complaints did not take long to appear on social networks. Although some users express concern about privacy, most argue that they actually share the plan with family members, but that not all of them live at the same address.
But what Spotify imposes is precisely that all participants live in the same place, both the owner and the other members. On the service’s help pages, the company says that “if we are unable to verify members of a Premium Family Plan, they will be removed from the plan.”
Until recently, Spotify didn’t seem too concerned with checking whether family subscription participants respect the condition. But, probably, the pressure to raise revenues has been forcing the company to experiment with checking mechanisms.
@Spotify Why do you need my GPS location to continue offering me a “Premium discount”? I pay for the family plan and it should not matter where my family lives. Will you cancel my account if my family gets too far from each other? #wtf #fail pic.twitter.com/HauQtHXSUA
– suck (@unaligned) September 18, 2018
Not surprising. Music industry executives are increasingly concerned about Spotify’s growing average loss of revenue per user. This is because a recent survey of the Billboard points out that, currently, almost half of subscribers to paid music streaming services use family plans.
One way to at least mitigate this scenario is to increase the value of family plans. But, if you have a subscription of this type, you need not worry: there is nothing indicating that Spotify will increase the value of the Premium Family Plan. Not now. The company is probably more concerned with not losing competitiveness.
Regarding the unusual GPS verification, the company explained that everything was just a test “with small groups of users in selected markets”. The test has now ended and therefore should not be converted into permanent functionality, at least not in the short term.