Spotify Updates TOS, Requires Location Data, Targeting Family Account Abuse

In its most recent update to its terms of service Spotify has turned on a requirement that you share your location data from “time to time” in order to use the service.

This is intended to prevent the “abuse” of the Spotify family plans

https://9to5mac.com/2019/09/12/spottily-family-plan-location

https://www.cnet.com/news/spotify-wants-to-know-where-you-li...

Ireland and US so far… rolling out to rest of world as we speak.

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Comments

  • Creepy AF. Why the hell does a music streaming service need to know where tf I am?

    • wyd ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • +1

      So that people don't take advantage of family plans from other countries that are priced cheaper? AKA The Philippines.

      • +1

        Live (profit) by geographical price differentiation, die by geographical price differentiation…?

        • +1

          I'm all for cheaper plans for developing countries. Good on Spotify.

          • @Ryanek: Oh yeah, but they could charge the same cheaper prices to everyone else too.

            • @HighAndDry: Costs of operation/licensing fees etc are different per country. Hence different pricing. I wonder why every company out there charges differently based on region…………………. cause it makes perfect sense that's why.

              • @Meeb:

                I wonder why every company out there charges differently based on region…………………. cause it makes perfect sense that's why.

                Uh, it makes perfect profit sense. It's price segmentation, which is a short extension from basic supply and demand and maximising revenue - everyone has a different purchasing ability, and places a different value on a service or product. In an ideal world for sellers, they'd be able to charge that individual maximum price to each buyer.

                They can't, but geographic market price segmentation is a rough approximation.

                https://pragmaticpricing.com/2010/04/21/price-segmentation-i...

                • @HighAndDry: "Uh, it makes perfect profit sense."

                  Welcome to How To Stay In Business 101.

                  • @Meeb: It's not because of licensing fee differences. It's because of profit. Yes, that seems duh, but you comment was:

                    Costs of operation/licensing fees etc are different per country. Hence different pricing.

                    And later:

                    No giant conspiracy about maximizing profits.

                    No, profit is basically the only reason.

                    • @HighAndDry: One could argue that Cost is the only reason.

                      • @Meeb: Cost only sets the floor for pricing. Demand and consumer ability/willingness to pay is generally more relevant in 99% of cases.

                        And that's what price segmentation seeks to target/exploit. Different consumers' differing ability and willingness to pay.

                        Geographic segmentation basically is: People in the US/Aust. have more money and are more willing to pay for this, than people in the Philippines, etc.

          • @Ryanek: They're not doing that for humanitarian reasons. It is an overall sales figure. They can either charge $2 to a hundred million people or $10 to a million.

            Their cost remains roughly similar.

            What they're doing here is the exact opposite but the concept is the same. What would bring maximum profit.

            • @tshow: All digital music service providers, including Spotify, Apple Music and others pay licence fees to music rights organisations from around the world (like APRA AMCOS in Australia) to compensate the music creators that Spotify are making money from.

              These fees and operating costs vary per country. Thus, pricing for subscriptions also varies per country. Simple economics actually. No giant conspiracy about maximizing profits.

              • @Meeb:

                No giant conspiracy about maximizing profits

                Price segmentation is not a conspiracy, it's a very old very accepted part of business.

              • @Meeb: I have in no way whatsoever implied the cost is the same in Australia vs India.

                The cost of having 100 million premium users vs 10 million premium users and 90 million free users would remain the same. There is the exact same number of end users, the difference is whether they are able to charge a subscription vs having to subsidize the cost through ad revenue. Same number of songs being played. Same cost of royalties.

                I'm not sure where you drew your inference for your rant.

        • Spare a thought for our 250 million mobile phone-using comrades in Sub-Saharan Africa (37 countries) who on average need to spend 10 per cent of their annual income to buy a handset and just 500MB of data, and most are still stuck with 2G.
          And, as an example of real-cost comparisons, spare a special thought for our Zimbabwean friends: in Zimbabwe a gigabyte of pre-paid data costs around AUD$110, almost 300 times as much as in India, making it the most expensive country in the world for data.
          Needless to say, you won’t find many Samsung 10s or iPhone XSs in Africa, but plenty of bottom drawer phones from the likes of Gionee and Tecno.

    • its because of the "family plan" loophole

  • Not surprised really. Don’t breach the TOS, and you won’t have a issue.

    Or they could bump the price up per month?

  • +2

    android users can bar spotify from accessing location though right?

    • +2

      Often, if you don't let an app have a permission that it wants, the app will not run.

      • +2

        damn that sucks. that's alright, i'll just move over to my leaked youtube music app with full premium features :D

  • Yeah I don't really see a problem, sounds like the usual fear mongering from bullcrap internet tabloids. A quote directly from the article:

    "Once you sign up for the family plan, Spotify will ask those on the plan to provide the company a home address using Google Maps. Every person added to the plan will have to do the same, or enable location services for Spotify on their devices, the company said. Spotify said it doesn't use that home location data for advertising and that it doesn't store the data for internal use."

    1. You can opt to just use Google Maps for the address rather than sharing location services (i.e. one time use).
    2. The location data is encrypted and not stored
    3. These are the terms and conditions of the Family discounted plan, they are within their right to confirm whether the product is being used in accordance with agreed terms.
    4. People just find any reason to complain these days
    • +1

      If you really believe that, I've got a bridge to sell in Wisconsin…

      • +2

        So if I really believe that a company is entitled to ensure that a product is being used in accordance with the terms and conditions they stipulate I'm a dummy? Right……… Take your tin foil hat off and stop concerning yourself with trivial stuff like this.

        • +2

          So if I really believe that a company is entitled to ensure that a product is being used in accordance with the terms and conditions they stipulate I'm a dummy? Right……… Take your tin foil hat off and stop concerning yourself with trivial stuff like this.

          When it comes to data that they "promise" to keep safe? Absolutely.

          Did anyone have any inkling Google/Amazon/Apple were literally giving (unsolicited) sound recordings to private contractors to transliterate before the scandals broke?

          • +1

            @HighAndDry: TOS. Read them and weep. If you don't like them don't use the product. Simple.

            • +1

              @Meeb: I know. Want to link Spotify's TOS to see what they can really use your location data for? Want to try and give any kind of guarantee their TOS won't change next week, or next month, or next year?

              • +1

                @HighAndDry: No, because I really don't care. I'm just pointing out the simple fact that they are fully within their rights as a business to enforce their TOS. Consumers may not like it but who cares, vote with your wallet then and leave the service. They are simply closing a loophole that many people are taking advantage of. Nothing new and nothing scary.

                • +2

                  @Meeb:

                  I'm just pointing out the simple fact that they are fully within their rights

                  Just as I'm fully within my rights to point to it and laugh because it's a stupid way of enforcing that TOS.

  • Good.

  • What’s stops the account holder( when asked to verify address) to log in with the rest of the family’s logins from the listed address?

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