In the case of Spotify, that picaresque comes through the family plan, that subscription that costs €14.99 and is valid for up to six members, which covers families of up to four children, or five, if there is only one parent or guardian. It is through it that Spotify believes it is missing out on revenue, as many users use it to pay just €2.5 a month to access its service.
To avoid that problem, Spotify came up with a first measure, which was to have each user type in the postal address of their account and check if it matched that of the family rate holder. If it didn’t, we had a problem but, as with everything, all users quickly caught on and figured out how to bypass that check.
Now, when sending the invitation, the new user will see that Spotify asks them to enable GPS location and enter the address where we are. If we are not physically at the home of the rate holder, we will not be able to complete it so it will be impossible to access the paid content and we will be left with a free account.
Free spotify premium
One of the most interesting Spotify plans is the «Family plan», up to 6 accounts can have Spotify paying only 14,99€. Obviously this plan is designed for families living in the same house, but many groups of friends use it to have a premium account for a much lower cost.
The problem is that the guys at Spotify don’t believe the phrase «friends are the family of choice» and are looking for these friends who share a family plan and checking via GPS whether they live together or not.
The reason is obvious: to fill the six places that the Family Plan has a maximum of six, this means a significant saving for its members compared to the individual premium subscription. It does not take more than a few quick calculations to reach the conclusion that forming a «family» of friends is much more economical, with the total annual cost of enjoying the platform without barriers or ads amounting to just 30 euros, compared to the 120 euros it would cost to subscribe on your own.
However, several users of this subscription model have begun to report that the Swedish platform is asking to check their location via GPS to confirm that they are living in the same location as the person making the payments. At the same time it warns that refusing to allow access to the location could result in the loss of access to the Family Plan.
Until now the most popular trick to enjoy the family plan was to join 5 friends or additional people and split the monthly cost. This way, the Spotify Premium subscription could come out even at 4 times less than the normal cost, so it’s a juicy deal. Spotify has been dealing with this for quite some time, trying to prevent users from «abusing» the system and the family plan from being used by….. well, families.
The problem lies in the fact that Spotify cannot fully verify that the rules are being followed or not. This means that, at least until now, it was relatively easy to circumvent the rules. As we say, Spotify already tried to solve this problem by using GPS, but when it ran into privacy issues Spotify seems to have decided that it would be better to ask for the location periodically.
Now, the streaming platform ensures that subscribers will have to confirm their home address «from time to time» to stay on the plan. Regarding users’ concerns about how the stored data will be used, Spotify responded to CNET with this statement: