Spotify Kills Sneaky Family Plan Verification Test
This one almost flew under the radar last week, but I managed to catch it. Remember a few weeks ago when I called out Spotify’s growing problem of family plans hurting their ARPU (avg revenue per user)? These plans make it easy for several listeners to share one account and only pay for one $15/mo subscription. Well it looks like Spotify decided to do some testing to see if listeners were cheating the system by sharing one account even though they lived in different places.
The test went something like this . . . Spotify selected random family plan users and asked them to verify their physical location through their phone’s GPS, along with the threat that “If you don’t confirm, you may lose access to the plan.” Apparently this sounded a little too Big Brother-ish, because many users started complaining on social media. Some listeners said Spotify was overreaching for personal data, while others politely pointed out that many family members don’t always live in the same home.
It looks like the festering controversy was too much for Spotify, who abruptly cut the test short last Friday. I’m not sure how much they learned from this exercise, accept maybe how to annoy current family plan customers.