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sowon

Spotify to Tackle Family Plan Sharing by Asking Users For Locations

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source: The Verge | CNET

 

Spotify are allegedly going to start asking users who are part of a family plan for their locaiton to crack down on family plan sharing, stating that family plans are made for those who reside in the same residence.

 

Quote

Spotify is cracking down on family plan sharing — again. According to a new set of terms and conditions for the plan that the company published back in August, Spotify is now requiring the primary account holder and everyone else on the plan to show proof that they reside at the same address, which it will now confirm from “time to time” by asking users to verify their addresses, as spotted by CNET.

 

This apparently isn't the first time Spotify has attempted to voice their concerns over family plan sharing for people who don't live in the same house, but the change in terms and conditions means they have the ability to contact those on a family plan for their GPS coordinates, which as you can probably tell, sparked privacy concerns by customers.

 

Quote

The company tested this last year and asked for exact GPS coordinates but ended the pilot program after customers balked, according to TechCrunch. Now it intends on rolling the location data requests out fully, reigniting privacy concerns and raising the question of how much is too much when it comes to your personal information.

 

"The changes to the policy allow Spotify to arbitrarily use the location of an individual to ascertain if they continue to reside at the same address when using a family account, and it's unclear how often Spotify will query users' devices for this information," said Christopher Weatherhead, technology lead for UK watchdog group Privacy International, adding that there are "worrying privacy implications."

 

This new wave of checking conducted by Spotify will use Google Maps' location with Spotify saying that they will ask users for verfication of location 'from time to time', and if you're caught with your pants down, your plan is suspended.

 

Quote

New accounts will be required to verify their address using Google Maps, and Spotify “may from time to time ask for re-verification” of your home address. If you fail to meet those criteria, Spotify notes that it can terminate or suspend your family plan.

It’s still unclear to what extent Spotify will be pursuing this kind of account verification or if it actually intends to cancel accounts that are violating the geographic limits. But the new terms do state that it can.

 

On a real note, I don't think this is going to work. Spotify tried it once and every customer who was part of the wave complained, so I see no reason to do it again, especially since customer privacy is an exponentially growing concern especially in subscription-based services like Spotify who rely on user data whilst not violating laws like GDPR.

Spotify do still seem adamant to stop family plan sharing as a family plan is $15 per month for 6 concurrent users if I'm not mistaken, which I imagine costs Spotify a lot of money if people are leeching off someone else's primary account.

 

Spotify is definitely losing a fight for profit, but I truly believe asking users literally where they live is not the right direction for family verification.

 

Out of curiousity, is anyone part of a family plan that is shared? I'm using my own $10 solo plan, with my brother still on free. I believe in thin instance, it would be liable for me to pay $5 extra for my brother to experience Premium.


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Oh, fuck off Spotify. I'm paying $5 a month more so my boyfriend can enjoy Spotify Premium. Be glad you're getting the cash.


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20 minutes ago, sowon said:

Out of curiousity, is anyone part of a family plan that is shared? I'm using my own $10 solo plan, with my brother still on free. I believe in thin instance, it would be liable for me to pay $5 extra for my brother to experience Premium.

I've got a family plan with 3 members on it, 1 of which lives at the house full time, with the other 2 who legally live at the address being on the road traveling on/off for work throughout the year. If Spotify wants to verify this, they're going to have to violate Canadian Privacy laws by requesting government ID's or other documents protected by our Privacy Act, because there will be months of the year they're nowhere physically near our address, even though again, their legal mailing address is the same.


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Remember when you didn't have to tell a company where you lived, worked or played in order to listen to a CD.


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Yet another reason to use Google Play Music or Apple Music, depending on which ecosystem you're in.


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I'm pretty sure most people are using cracked versions of spotify at this point.


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This could be the beginning of something bigger for the media streaming industry in my opinion. Could Netflix and Hulu potentially implement similar policies I wonder?

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10 minutes ago, adman29 said:

I like youtube music please don't make fun of me : (

Most of my music comes from YouTube anyway, no fun making here.

 

The main reason for this is because I'm generally at my PC often enough that it's not a problem just to use YouTube with an adblocker.

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1 minute ago, Crunchy Dragon said:

Most of my music comes from YouTube anyway, no fun making here.

 

The main reason for this is because I'm generally at my PC often enough that it's not a problem just to use YouTube with an adblocker.

Yay! 

If you have a phone youtube music premium isn't half bad tbh. Music sounds good, and you have a way larger selection than spotify, etc. If it's not officially there, it'll try and pull a copy or song from Youtube itself.

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Still have Amazon Prime Student years after leaving lol.


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6 minutes ago, Andreas Lilja said:

Still have Amazon Prime Student years after leaving lol.

I got it, and then they said, oh, well, we're going to start charging after your first semester or so. They charged me like, once, and that was 2 years ago. I still have prime, but don't let amazon know.

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12 minutes ago, adman29 said:

Yay! 

If you have a phone youtube music premium isn't half bad tbh. Music sounds good, and you have a way larger selection than spotify, etc. If it's not officially there, it'll try and pull a copy or song from Youtube itself.

Yeah using youtube for music is convenient for me, I'm thinking of getting youtube premium for when I use it on my phone.

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Just now, Blademaster91 said:

Yeah using youtube for music is convenient for me, I'm thinking of getting youtube premium for when I use it on my phone.

App isn't 100% there yet, especially on iOS, but on Android it was pretty great for the like 8 months that I used it

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So what about people who work all day and are rarely at home? There's a big difference between where they are and where they live that Spotify would have issues detecting


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Not going to work, good luck trying to force that without losing paid customers. 


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Getting the rest of my family to Apple Music might be easy since most of them are iPhone users. I’m the only one using Android at the moment (not for too much longer). 


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What does spotify not cry about these days?

 

Who's actually going to give out their GPS coordinates to an online company with a business model that doesn't have to deliver anything to you physically?

 

Do they plan to ban everyone that uses a VPN?

 

How desperate can you get?

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What happens if you have a family member who's living far away ? 

 

And I would definitely reject Spotify access to my location, apple would probably pull the app from the app store first? 

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7 minutes ago, Yongtjunkit said:

What happens if you have a family member who's living far away ? 

They are not allowed to use the family plan. It is strictly for users who share the same home. At least in theory, but I think a lot of people abuse it.

 

I kind of understand why they are doing this. It's so incredibly easy to cheat the system, but at the same time it feels like this is not a good way to go about it.

 

I wonder what they will do if this fails. Spotify will periodically and secretly activate your camera so that they can look in and confirm that you are behaving in a family-like way with certain people? Don't worry, if you got nothing to fear if you got nothing to hide!

"Hi LAwLz, we have noticed that you do not cook food with your supposed 'family member' in a while. Are you sure you're actually family?"

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8 hours ago, kelvinhall05 said:

Yet another reason to use Google Play Music or Apple Music,

I was looking to get either youtubemusic,google music or spotify.

In the end It was spotify. The other platforms didn't have the artists I'm interested in.

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And I'll never start using Spotify.


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What if one member is out on a buissness trip for a few days? What about vacations?

 

This is insanity


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