Have you ever been streaming some Avicii and suddenly the track stops and changes to ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’? Maybe you share an account with your significant other, or some friends. Maybe you are on a family plan. Well, Spotify now wants to track your location and confirm everyone on the same plan lives at the same address – as if they didn’t learn from their mistake last year with GPS validation for family plans.
This is all an effort to prevent abuse of their Premium Family Plan. Furthermore, Spotify will now be monitoring family plan users locations while periodically checking in to make sure everyone is under the same roof.
The Premium Family plan starts at $15-a-month, and accounts for up to six people. Spotify is concerned about users abusing the plan by paying as little as $2.50 to access the streaming library. Taking steps to prevent this abuse, Spotify updated their terms and conditions earlier this summer. The general terms summarized:
Spotify Premium Family Terms and Conditions
- The primary account holder and the subsidiary account holders must be family members residing at the same address
- You will be asked to verify your home address once activating your account
- Spotify may ask for re-verification of your home address from “time to time”
- They will use Google Maps address search to help you find and set your address. The address you enter upon activation or re-verification will be subject to the Google Maps
Ultimately, these concerns aren’t entirely surprising. Last year, Billboard reported how concerned execs were about family sharing on streaming services. Speaking with Billboard, MusicWatch analyst Russ Crupnick said:
“Of all the listeners to the top paid [music] services, roughly a quarter are ‘sharing’ the account — that is, they are not personally paying for the account, nor are they on a free trial.”
All in all, this crackdown makes sense, seeing as executives for the company are concerned. I understand issues with abusing the service, but these countless location check-ins seem excessive. The updated terms and conditions are certainly getting a good amount of coverage.
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