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Do you share your music streaming password with someone else? Or do you have a family plan, but share the other accounts with people who don’t live in the same home as you? Thought so.

Password or account sharing is considered fair game to many users of streaming services and while most video and music DSPs don’t technically allow it (Spotify’s US Family Plan T&Cs says “the primary account holder and the subsidiary account holders must be family members residing at the same address”) it feels like a blind eye has generally been turned to this activity. But might that soon change?

Netflix is reportedly trialling a programme in certain territories where the company identifies password-sharing users and charges an extra fee for each ineligible extra user – around $2 each, apparently. It’s a tricky demand given the current environment: data from Ampere Analysis suggests that, as the cost of living creeps ever-upward, financially-squeezed users are more tempted to cancel video streaming service subscriptions – and so a request to pay more might have an adverse effect. But if it works, the risk could be worth it: analysis by Citi estimates that video platforms’ “lost revenue” due to password-sharing is in the billions of dollars.

Could music platforms try something similar and check whether users under one family account are actually in close geographic proximity or not? If DSPs start to look for ways to give their income streams a fillip, a crackdown on this sort of behaviour – and thus nudging a hefty chunk of users towards signing up for single-user accounts – may seem temping.

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Joe Sparrow

Joe SparrowEditor

Editor, Music Ally

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