You may have a Spotify family account or might be considering upgrading to one. It’s an incredible premium plan, but it can lead to some curiosities.
However, to simply answer the question:
You cannot use the Spotify Premium Family plan if you live in different households. The fine print of Spotify’s Terms and conditions clearly states that a shared family plan can be only used by members “residing at the same address.”
All members that are added to the shared plan need to verify their address before joining. Spotify may also re-verify the address from time to time.
Family plan sharing costs Spotify a lot of money.
A report from last year claims almost 50% of all active streaming customers are on family plans, which cost far less per user than the standard $10 per month individual plan. And as you can imagine people will always try and beat the system!
But location data is sensitive information and can have worrying implications when a company queries our devices for information. Spotify has assured users that location data is only collected when you create a Premium Family account and used for that purpose only.
This article explains how Spotify’s Family plan works and how members can verify their locations to be able to use it.
Is it really necessary to live under the same roof to use Spotify Family?
Yes. Take note, the address belongs to the primary account holder (plan manager) who purchases or upgrades to a Spotify Premium Family subscription. The plan manager can invite other family members to join their plan. However, the family members must verify they live in the same household.
The word on the grapevine is Spotify has shifted to a manual data entry of the residence location. It’s a confusing and complicated methodology for families who do not live together or send their kids off to college.
The rules are lax because of privacy concerns and Spotify’s need to keep customers flocking to competitors with less intrusive shared family plans.
Why did Spotify crackdown on dubious family plan sharing?
Back in the day, people used a Spotify Family account in different households, even across the country. It was a sweet deal for $14.99 per month, which led to people taking advantage of the family plan sharing rules.
Friends, roommates, or colleagues would buy and share the costs of a premium family plan. It turned out to be cheaper than individual memberships.
This dubious sharing became rampant and cost Spotify a lot of revenue. It prompted them to update their terms and conditions in August 2019 to crack done on suspicious plan sharing activities. Now, Spotify asks members to verify their address at the start and from time to time.
It forces them to buy Individual Premium accounts, which will generate added revenue for the company.
At the same time, they can’t play hard taskmaster or endanger user privacy, as it can drive customers to other music streaming services with more lax measures.
Spotify initially verified the address of each member via GPS coordinates. However, they ditched the practice as it raised concerns about user privacy. As of today, Spotify verifies your address with an email invite. We’ll discuss that in more detail in the upcoming sections.
How does Spotify know if you live together?
Spotify sends an email invite to confirm the address of members invited to a shared family plan. Members must respond to the email and provide their complete address, which should be the same as the location of the plan or account manager.
It can be tricky for university students or members from split families to figure out how Spotify verifies your location. However, Spotify does not track your location anymore or check up on where you live when they confirm your address. We believe they take your word for it.
You need to verify your address two times – a) When you accept the invitation to join the Family plan and b) If/when the plan manager changes their address. Spotify may suspend an account on Premium Family if an invited member can’t confirm, verify, or re-verify their address.
No one is quite sure how Spotify verifies if people live at the address they enter in the email. But they clearly state that they don’t use GPS checks because of privacy concerns.
Spotify will re-verify your address from time to time to ensure members don’t abuse the offer.
How does Spotify family work?
Spotify Premium Family is a monthly subscription plan. It allows family members residing “under the same roof” to get 6 Premium accounts for $15 a month. You can also try it free for a month if you qualify for the free trial. However, you need to input your payment info and will revert to a monthly auto-renewal scheme if you don’t cancel your subscription.
All members of the Spotify Premium family plan can access premium features like on-demand playback, offline listening, unlimited skips, and ad-free music listening. All members have a separate username and password. Everyone has their own playlist, libraries, and friends.
The plan manager can set content filters for other members. It’s a great feature for parents with young or teenage kids who want to keep a check on their exposure to indecent or explicit content.
How to purchase or upgrade to Spotify Premium Family?
First, you need to sign up for Spotify as a free user. After that, you can become a Family plan manager or primary account holder. The plan manager is the person who purchases or upgrades to the Spotify Family plan by paying the monthly subscription fee.
You can now invite five other members (6 in total) to join your plan. Again, you can only invite people who have downloaded the app and signed up for Spotify. They need an active (free) account to receive a family plan invitation.
Invited members will receive an email. They must accept the invitation and verify their residential address via email. That’s all it entails. Members will be added to the Family plan once Spotify confirms and approves the details.
Invited members get access to Premium features but don’t split the cost. They are the only member that can set content filets (parental controls), change the address, and cancel the subscription. The plan manager foots a bill of $14.99 at the end of a 30-day billing cycle.
For more information, please watch this Youtube video.
Are there any IP address restrictions for Spotify Family Plan?
There are no IP address restrictions for the Spotify Family Premium Plan. Don’t be under the false impression that you can only listen to Spotify Family at home. Like an Individual plan, all Premium Family plan members can listen to Spotify anytime, anywhere.
Do you lose saved music on Spotify if you upgrade from Individual to Family?
Users can easily upgrade from Spotify Premium Individual to Premium Family without losing saved music and podcasts. After upgrading an existing account, you have all your saved playlists, downloaded music, and recommendations.
How do I change my Spotify family address?
You cannot change the address in a Spotify Premium Family plan once your account is created.
That is to say, you are stuck with the Premium Family address you filled in right at the start. If you input the wrong details, you need to cancel the plan, sign out, and create a new account with the correct family address before you subscribe to the Family plan again.
Many users have expressed their displeasure due to the inability to change their address. There are legitimate instances when members accidentally filled in the wrong address while signing up. Others notice a blank zip code in their address because they created an account using Facebook.
Both of these become an issue if you are a plan manager. However, you could fix this by passing on the incorrect details to other family plan members, which they can input in the verification email. But it won’t help if you buy a new house or move to another city.
To the best of our knowledge, canceling your current Spotify subscription and getting a new one might be the most obvious way to rectify this issue. Alternatively, you can contact Spotify support and reply to the automated email to get the best advice on how to resolve your issue.
Spotify is justified in cracking down on users glomming on other people’s plans for many years. However, their rules are pretty lax. Without GPS tracking, which they refuse to employ, an email isn’t meticulous enough to confirm if plan members are or aren’t living in the same home.
It makes sense though. The competition is tough, and Spotify needs to do everything to stay on top. Competitors like Tidal and Apple Music have very lenient family plans. So, we don’t think Spotify will employ more precise methods of location verification in the near future.