This is a common practice among the friends to get a single Spotify Family Sharing plan and share among the friends of six or less. A Spotify family plan which costs $15 per months, can be shared with up to six members. This significantly reduces a single user cost from $10 per month to just about $2.5 if shared with six members. According to a Billboard report from last month, almost half of Spotify premium users are currently using the Family sharing plan. This costs Spotify a lot of money, and in order to curb the abuse, Spotify has changed its Family Sharing terms and condition. According to the new Spotify T&C, family sharing primary account holder and the subsidiary account holders are required to share their location data to prove that they live in the same address. That is not all, after activation, Spotify “may from time to time ask for re-verification of your home address in order to confirm that you are still meeting the eligibility criteria.”
To verify your home address, Spotify will use Google Map. And in case you fail to verify that you still live in the same home, your account along with the entire family plan account may get terminated. Every person added to the same family plan will have to go through the same verification to make sure they are all living under one roof.
In a statement to Cnet – which first reported about this terms and condition change – Spotify spokesperson said the following:
“Once verification of a family member’s home address is completed, we do not store their location data or track their location at any time. The location data that is collected during Premium Family account creation is only used by Spotify for that purpose… This data is encrypted and can be edited by the plan owner as needed.”
It is not clear if Spotify will ever go to that extent to verify the physical address of each user under a family plan, and if at all, it will terminate those who abuse the plan. But Spotify is taking the abuse pretty serious and willing to do something concrete to make sure people do not abuse the family sharing plan. It is worth noting here that this is not the first time Spotify taking a strong stands against family plan abuse.
Last Year, Spotify had made headlines after sending a similar warning notice to users to verify their exact GPS coordination to verify all the users under a family plan lives together. But it had to scrub that testing after getting users outrage over privacy concern.
With the new terms and condition update, Spotify is hoping to turn those faking Family Plans will turn to regular Spotify users. This also has a consequence of losing users to competitors. Especially to Apple Music which offers the same $15 Family plan and requires no such verification. What do you think of this new development from Spotify? Is it a right way of identifying fake Family sharing user when data Privacy is a big debate among the netizens.