Spotify family plan: Separate accounts, one discounted bill

The streaming music service introduces a plan that allows up to five family members to have separate premium accounts on one bill.


Spotify on Monday introduced a plan that allows up to five family members to jointly subscribe to the streaming music service's premium service with discounted rates.

Under Spotify Family, a single family member pays the standard premium price of $10, with each additional family member getting a 50 percent discount -- paid together in a single bill. For instance, a family of four will pay $25, instead of four separate charges at $10.

Normally, a premium subscription costs $10 per month in the US, £10 in the UK or AU$12 in Australia.

"This is one of the most asked for features from our audience," Ken Parks, chief content officer at Spotify, said in a statement.

With Spotify Family, the streaming music service is hoping to goose subscriber growth as it battles a myriad of competitive services, from Pandora to Apple's iTunes Radio. Spotify streams for free on computers and mobile devices, but customers can opt for the premium service to eliminate ads, to choose what songs they want to play on their mobile devices and to get the songs at a higher quality and without an Internet connection. Turning those free users into paying subscribers remains Spotify's long-term goal.

Spotify said in May it had 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users in 56 markets. In the last few months, the service has launched on the Windows Phone smartphones and partnered with Sprint to offer a free trial of premium service, followed by an offer for a discounted rate.

The full pricing tier per member is as follows:

Spotify Family plan UK US Australia New Zealand
Family 2 (one extra account) £15 $15 AU$18 NZ$19.49
Family 3 (two extra accounts) £20 $20 AU$24 NZ$26
Family 4 (three extra accounts) £25 $25 AU$30 NZ$32.49
Family 5 (four extra accounts) £30 $30 AU$36 NZ$39

Family plans are tools used to both boost subscriber growth and loyalty, with a discounted bundle used to dissuade individuals from breaking away from that plan. They are used to great effect by service providers such as the wireless carriers. Other music streaming services offer family plans as well, including Rdio.

Having multiple accounts means users won't mix up their playlists or getting unexpected song recommendations. It also means that one person's service doesn't cut out if someone else logs in at the same time.

Spotify said the feature will roll out globally in the next few weeks.

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