According to reports from Spiegel Online and Quartz, as well as numerous Twitter users, Spotify ran a test designed to ask Premium for Family plan members to confirm their location by sending in GPS data.
Spotify unveiled the Premium for Family plan four years ago, and it allows up to five subscribers from the same address to use the Premium version of the streaming service for a $14.99 monthly payment, with all the extra perks available in the Premium plan from music downloading to no ads.
The test message sent by Spotify to users from the USA and Germany said that they need to confirm their address to be able to use the family or lose access if they choose not to.
"Spotify is currently testing improvements to the user experience of Premium for Family with small user groups in select markets. We are always testing new products and experiences at Spotify, but have no further news to share regarding this particular feature test at this time," told a Spotify spokesperson to Aisha Hassan in an e-mail.
Spotify ran the Premium for Family data collection test but did not detail the reason behind it
Although Spotify's Subscription Information and the Terms of Service pages for this plan clearly state that the Premium for Family plan is designed for members of the same household who live at the same address, the company faced a lot of backlash after running this test.
Customers asked the company on Twitter why all members of a family have to live under the same roof and if they will start canceling accounts if some of them will start working or traveling abroad.
Furthermore, even though pages linked in the test e-mail say that "Spotify will only use your GPS data to verify your location and nothing else," users still expressed their concerns about the privacy and security measures taken by the streaming service once it collected the data.
A possible move Spotify could take to fix the issue of Premium for Family account sharing between people who are not part of the same household would be to raise the price for the plan to decrease the losses.