We hear it’s quite common for people who subscribe to streaming music services to share passwords with friends and family. Music streaming service Spotify wants to make sure you share your login only with the latter — and only with those who live in the same physical household.
In recent days, people on social media have posted about notifications they’ve received from Spotify asking them to disclose their GPS coordinates. While the company hasn’t confirmed that, it appears the messages are the company’s attempt to crack down on people who are not family members using the same subscription.
@Spotify Why do you keep asking me to confirm my GPS location? This is the 5 email in the last 2-3 weeks. I pay for the premium service! How does confirming my location confirm who my family members are!? Fix it pic.twitter.com/NrRXEVRPkS
— Enrique Davila (@_eenriquee_) September 28, 2018
Is it OK to share your Spotify password?
One of the things that makes movie, TV and music streaming so convenient is the ability to use the services on your devices where ever you may be.
Streaming services have always tried to walk the line between getting as many people as they can to use their services and not necessarily encouraging password sharing.
The middle ground that many of them have arrived upon is password sharing for “family” only. They define those families by household members.
The thing is, Spotify’s own terms of service are a bit confusing on the topic. On its website, Spotify says Premium accounts can be accessed “for you and up to five people who reside at your same address.” Indeed, the fine print on Spotify’s Premium Family plan entitles the primary account holder to have up to five subsidiary accounts.
Yet in its user agreement, the company states “providing your password to any other person or using any other person’s username and password” is not permitted.
Can you share your music streaming service password with others?
With our interest piqued over the widespread practice of login-sharing, we wanted to check in on the policies of some of the other major streaming services. Here’s what we found:
Apple states that “families of up to six people can enjoy all the benefits of Apple Music.” Apple would like everyone in the family to join Family Sharing using their own Apple ID.
Tidal allows you to use only one device online and three devices offline simultaneously. As an example, the streaming service lets you use one smartphone in online mode while two tablets and an additional mobile phone are being used in offline mode.
Amazon’s Household policy allows up to 10 people living under the same roof to share digital content like eBooks, games and certain Prime benefits. An Amazon Household is defined as two adults (over age 18), up to four teen profiles and four child profiles.
To facilitate sharing, both of the adults must link their accounts through Amazon Household and agree to share the payment method.
Google Play‘s Music Family Plan allows you and up to five family members to stream songs for a monthly fee. Google lets you stream simultaneously on up to 10 devices each.
Each family member is still able to have their separate Google Accounts, playlists, libraries, and more, but you can’t be part of two family groups.
How this work with movie & TV streaming services
Now that you know how the music streaming services feel about the sharing of login information, here’s how Netflix and the movie and TV platforms view password sharing.
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