Spotify’s Family Plan will soon work better for actual families


Spotify is adding new features to its Family Plan subscriptions to give parents more control over the listening habits of their children. Starting today in Ireland, and “soon” in the other countries where the plan is offered, parents will be able to set the Explicit Content Filter on their children’s accounts, preventing them from playing anything that Spotify marks as explicit. The ability to change the filter will be password protected, meaning only parents will have control over the setting.

First announced in 2014, Spotify’s Family Plan is a way for up to six people to share a discounted $14.99 monthly subscription. Considering an individual Spotify Premium subscription is $9.99, it can result in a pretty massive price reduction. However, outside of a vague requirement that all members live in the same place, the plan hasn’t previously had any features that are actually designed for families.

The parental controls will be available to whichever user has the Family Plan’s master account, and sub-accounts will not be able to switch it on and off themselves without a password. The filter can be controlled from the Family Hub, which is where you can also add and remove family members, or update your family address.

The new Family Mix will contain music based on the whole family’s listening habits.
Image: Spotify

Alongside the new parental controls, Spotify is also adding a new Family Mix, which will offer a personalized playlist generated from the listening habits of the accounts on the shared subscription. Spotify says you’ll be able to “control who is in each session” to personalize the playlist, which suggests you’ll be able to stop the playlist being dominated by a family member’s Michael Bublé obsession. It sounds like a similar feature to the Duo Mix that Spotify introduced with its Premium Duo subscription earlier this year. If your family’s listening habits are anything like mine, however, then you might end up with a shared playlist that veers chaotically between easy-listening and heavy metal. At least you’ll get to try something new though, right?

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