If you’re among the many users who are sharing a $17.99 a month Spotify Family account with friends to save a few bucks, it seems the free ride may be running out. Spiegel online reports that a number of premium users are receiving an email requesting confirmation of “their location”, suggesting a potentially imminent crackdown on the common practice of sharing accounts.

In one of a number of publicly visible interactions, Spotify stated that they’re looking for users to confirm their GPS location (not just reply with their home address, which would clearly be open to manipulation in order to continue service):

Engadget reached out to Spotify for comment on the communication to users and received the following comment:

Spotify is currently testing improvements to the user experience of Premium for Family with small user groups in select markets. We are always testing new products and experiences at Spotify, but have no further news to share regarding this particular feature test at this time.

While the GPS location use may seem somewhat overzealous in terms of confirmation, the terms of use for the Family Accounts clearly state that the users must reside at the same address. So in reality, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise they’re starting to look for users to verify this detail. On the other side of the coin however, I’m not keen on any app vendors requesting or using my physical location at any point in in time (unless its for mapping, etc).

Is it right that if Spotify crack down and stop users sharing accounts, or should they take the money and let it ride?

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i’d be interested to see how they verify a dense city like Singapore/HK where upwards of 2000 people may be living in the same geolocated group of buildings?


Spotify top tip: If you move out of the family nest, you ain’t family anymore.

I get the business/cost issues here, but perhaps rename it? Families don’t always live together. Spotify For The Home, Spotify for Housemates, whatever… but Spotify Family is not an accurate name for this product.


perfectly put. i share a google play music account with my wife, her mum and my mum and it had never occurred to me that i was breaking the rules!


(to be clear we do not all live together in some kind of charlie and the chocolate factory situation)

Clyde Jones

How does this work with FIFO workers? When they get a request to confirm their location when they’re working away? Seems a bit much to request a GPS location.

Scott Plowman

I wonder if they have an exception for divorced parents? My kids don’t live with me most of the time and yet they are under my family group…