Spotify’s Family Plan now requires that members live at the same address

Spotify has been making tweaks and adjustments to its family plan, and the most recent continues the company’s efforts to restrict how people approach the group subscription option. The new terms and conditions published in August state that everyone on a family plan must reside at the same address. The company said it will sometimes ask users to verify their addresses under the revised terms. If users do not comply, Spotify said it may choose to suspend or terminate family plans.

The streaming service launched a test last year where it said it would require GPS coordinates to confirm members were using the plan at the same location, although privacy concerns led to the end of that effort.

From the company’s perspective, the address requirement is a way to ensure that people aren’t sharing the cheaper subscription option with non-family members. Sharing login credentials is a problem for any paid online service, and research has found that platforms like Spotify may be losing out on potential revenue from those use cases.

It’s reasonable for Spotify to want to recoup as much subscription revenue as it can. However, this approach doesn’t seem like it will win the company many fans. Considering it would allow a group of unrelated tenants in an apartment building to share access while potentially limiting access to blood relatives who travel for work or education or military service, the policy appears to be a dubious way to address the problem.

Anna Washenko