It always seems like companies are trying to get more money out of us for the services that they provide. What does that mean, exactly? First, you sign up for a service – let’s use Spotify as an example. You start to use it, you love it and then your daughter says – hey, I want Spotify too. So you decide to get a family plan, which costs more money but allows you both to use the same account. Then, your daughter moves away to college, and you continue to use the same Spotify account. That is until Spotify starts sending out emails that say that you need to confirm that the two of you live at the same address. Which, in itself isn’t a big deal, but Spotify takes it one step farther and requires you to verify this using GPS data.
Does this sound pretty outlandish? Well, it’s a true story. This is something that Spotify is actually doing. Hence trying to get more money out of you. Spotify rules make it mandatory for at least two out of five members in a family plan to live at the same address. However, it is common for friends and families living across different parts of a city, country or even different countries to have a single Spotify family plan. And in an attempt to cut down on this kind of practice, they are starting to send out emails to their customers asking them to confirm their home address, using their GPS coordinates.
This enrages me like nothing else. Why can’t families live in different parts of the same city or country? Or even different countries for that matter? Why do you physically have to live in the same location? Further just because you live with someone, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re family. Spotify is upset that people are using a Spotify “family” account for friends and while I understand that they’re upset about it, how can they stop it? I think what’s going to happen is that people are going to stop using the service. They’ll switch to Apple Music, for example, where this might not be a requirement.
The problem is – Spotify can’t set up the service in a way that would be similar to Netflix, for example. With Netflix, you pay for the number of devices that you have. But that wouldn’t be fair with Spotify given that I can have more than one laptop, a tablet (or two) and an iPhone. So limiting it to the number of devices that I have doesn’t seem like the thing to do. That said, this move is only going to anger users.
The other problems is that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. There was a time when we all listened to the radio and it was free. Yes, we bought music, but now we just stream it to our phones. Instead of providing a service at a reasonable rate, companies are trying to squeeze as much money out of users as they possibly can. Music streaming services are not doing well from this perspective so I’m not exactly surprised that they’re attempting to make some big changes.