Tag Archives: Spotify

Spotify Upgraded its Premium Family Plan



Spotify announced that it has upgraded its Spotify Premium Family Plan. New changes make it easier for families to filter out things that they don’t want their children to listen to.

With our updated plan, Spotify Premium Family subscribers have on-demand access to 450,000 podcast titles and 50 million tracks of ad-free music. What’s more, parents will now be able to control the Explicit Content Filter setting of all other accounts on their plan (these parental controls are a long-requested feature).

Spotify says the update is now available in Ireland, and will rollout in all markets with Premium Family this fall. Those who are already Premium Family Plan users will be notified as soon as the upgraded Family Plan is available in the coming months.

Here are some things families can look forward to:

  • Family Mix: Families will get exclusive access to a personalized playlist packed with songs the whole family enjoys. Family Mix is updated regularly and you can control who is in each session to optimize your family’s favorite shared listening moments.
  • Family Hub: Billing users can now manage their Family’s settings in one place, including adding or removing family members, keeping your home address up to date, and adjusting your parental controls.
  • Six Accounts: Spotify Premium Family still provides six individual Spotify Premium accounts for family members living under one roof, meaning you’ll keep your own saved music and playlists.

The Spotify Premium Family plan costs $14.99 per month. It might be a good investment for families that enjoy listening to music and podcasts together. The parental controls (after the rollout) will make it easier for parents to filter out things that they don’t want their kids to listen to.


Apple Addressed Spotify’s Claims



Recently, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission. Yesterday, Apple posted a statement titled “Addressing Spotify’s claims”. I suspect this will not be the end of the argument between Spotify and Apple.

Apple started by giving a brief history of the iTunes Store and the App Store. After that, Apple begins making a case against Spotify. To be clear, I am personally not on the side of either one of these companies.

What Spotify is demanding is something different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem – including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers – without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians, and songwriters who create it – even going so far as to take these creators to court.

Here are a few key points from Apple’s post:

  • We’ve approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app. The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows.
  • When we reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions, they’ve told us they’re working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can.
  • Spotify is deeply integrated into platforms like CarPlay, and they have access to the same app development tools and resources that any other developer has.
  • We found Spotify’s claims about Apple Watch especially surprising. When Spotify submitted their Apple Watch app in September 2018, we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category.
  • Apple claims that Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free.
  • The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system. As Spotify points out, that revenue share is 30 percent for the first year of an annual subscription – but they left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after.
  • “The majority of customers use their ad-supported product, which makes no contributions to the Apple Store.”
  • “A significant portion of Spotify’s customers come through partnerships with mobile carries. This generates no App store contribution but requires Spotify to pay a similar distribution fee to retails and carriers.”
  • “Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model. Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.”

Personally, it seems to me that Apple and Spotify are having a disagreement that does not appear to be something that will end soon. I would not be surprised if the result of this spat causes Spotify and Apple to part ways.


Spotify Filed Complaint Against Apple with European Commission



Founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, posted “Consumers and Innovators Win on a Level Playing Field” on the Spotify Newsroom. In it, he announces that Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC).

Daniel Ek starts by pointing out that his goal for Spotify is to reimagine the audio experience by giving consumers the best creativity and innovation they have to offer. For that to be a reality, his belief is that companies like Spotify must operate in an ecosystem in which fair competition is not only encouraged, but guaranteed.

It’s why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory. In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience – essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition.

Here are some key points from Daniel Ek’s post:

Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our Free to Premium service. If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music.

If we choose not to use Apple’s payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify. For example, they limit our communication with our customers – including our outreach beyond the app. In some cases we aren’t even allowed to send email to our customers who use Apple. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades.

Here is what Spotify is asking for:

  • Apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store. We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions – including Apple Music.
  • Consumers should have a real choice of payment systems, and not be “locked in” or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple’s.
  • App stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit customers.

It will be interesting to see what the European Commission decides. If Spotify wins, it could open up the opportunity for other app makers, who are not pleased with Apple, to file their own complaints.


Spotify Removes Artists from Playlists Under New Policy



Spotify has created a Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy that it is using to determine what music will not be promoted on the service. Billboard reported that Spotify has removed the work of two artists from Spotify playlists after the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy took effect.

Spotify posted a blog post about the new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy.

…We love that our platform is home to so much diversity because we believe in openness, tolerance, respect, and freedom of expression, and we want to promote those values through music on our platform.

However, we do not tolerate hate content on Spotify – content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.

Billboard reported that Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly’s music on any of the Spotify’s editorial or algorithmic playlists. Users will still be able to find R. Kelly’s music on Spotify, but Spotify is no longer going to promote it in Spotify owned and operated playlists. Billboard also reported that XXXTentacion has also had his music removed from Spotify’s owned and operated playlists.

Spotify clarified why they will remove the work of an artist, who has violated the Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy from Spotify playlists, but still allow the artist’s music to be on Spotify.

In their blog post, Spotify states: “While we don’t believe in censoring content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. So, in some circumstances, when an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children or sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”


Noted Adds Support For SongSync, Spotify, Apple Music



Noted SongSyncNoted, the music-centric social sharing service that lets users receive a “news feed” style stream of songs selected by friends, has added support for SongSync, Spotify, and Apple Music. From a recent Noted e-mail announcement:

 

SongSync lets you integrate with your Spotify/Apple Music account to share songs and build playlists across services.

Here’s an example: Now friends can share a music video from YouTube and you’ll be able to add it to your Spotify playlists through Noted.

In order to use SongSync with Noted, users should follow these steps:

  1. If using Noted on a mobile device, update to the latest version.
  2. Sync with your favorite library (if you aren’t a paid subscriber, choose YouTube for full tracks).
  3. Noted automatically converts every available post to your synced services and your posts to your friends’ services.

Once the process is completed, Noted users will have automatically synced playlists on connected services based on their own Noted activity, as well as the activity of friends. This is a pretty handy feature, as it can be difficult to follow everything happening on Noted, especially if a user has a lot of friends.

Noted has stated that this is only the beginning of its SongSync integration and that it will be sending more information and tips about how to best utilize the service.


Been wanting to try Spotify Premium? You can get a free Chromecast if you do it now



Spotify logoMusic streaming services are becoming ever more prevalent in the market these days. One made news this week by getting an exclusive deal, but those types of deals also have become common. Perhaps the most popular these days is Spotify, which can be used for free, though a premium subscription brings more functionality.

Now Spotify is trying to pull in more customers with a special deal. The streaming service is offering a free Chromecast to anyone who purchases three months of its Premium service.

To sell this deal, the company points out “With Chromecast, listening at home is easy. Simply plug Chromecast into your TV, connect it to WiFi and cast music directly from your phone or tablet. It works with Android, iOS and laptops, too. Play, skip, browse and search using the Spotify app. Oh, and feel free to make calls, watch a video or play games – the music will keep playing”.

There’s only a brief window of time to take advantage of this deal. You’ll need to act quickly because it’s only running through February 28th. You can grab the offer by visiting here. It will set you back $29.97.


Public Outcry Over New Spotify Terms of Service



Spotify logoSpotify, the Sweden-based media streaming service, received some negative press earlier this week because of some recent changes to its terms of service. Initially, it looked like the company was getting a bit too grabby with users’ personal information. The ToS was updated by adding this language:

With your permission, we may collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files. Local law may require that you seek the consent of your contacts to provide their personal information to Spotify, which may use that information for the purposes specified in this Privacy Policy.

The new terms were first brought to the general public thru a Twitter post by former Minecraft developer Notch. This led to a response from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. From there, Spotify went into damage control mode, starting with a blog post that’s supposed to clarify the situation.

And while these new terms do look a bit overreaching, the key part to remember is that Spotify won’t be doing anything with your information without your consent. Still, the company could’ve done a better job of clarifying exactly what it’s planning to do with your photos, contacts, and other information.

Considering so much recent news in the tech world has revolved around hacks, leaks, and privacy breaches, all companies doing business online need to be super transparent about these kinds of things going forward if they want to maintain (and grow) their customer bases.