Spotify Family image

My family loves to listen to music. A lot. It seems like somebody’s always singing: my husband and I belting 90s jams in the car; my thirteen-year-old daughter half-yelling, half-singing “Moana” songs in the shower; my fourteen-year-old whispering the words to different pop songs in her room. Sometimes it feels like just about the only time we aren’t singing is when we’re asleep.

So when I got Spotify Premium, it seemed like the next logical step for my music-loving household. It looked like a good deal – about $10 monthly to listen to whatever I wanted – what could go wrong?

Within the first day of Spotify Premium, my husband had my password. I work from home, he works at the office, I thought it would be great for us to enjoy Spotify’s benefits. What I didn’t realize is that when they say only one listener at a time, they mean it. There I was, enjoying a soothing round of Nicolas Jaar’s 2011 album Space is Only Noise when it happened. Right as the music swelled, it stopped. At first I thought it was just frozen – my internet does lag – but everything else seemed to be working fine. No matter what I did, I kept being told my device was paused! It took me several minutes to realize what was going on. I called my husband, who was rocking out to White Snake on my Spotify account, and explained what the deal – only one of us could be online at a time! Since it was my Premium, we agreed he would ask me whenever he wanted to use my Spotify, to check in if I was listening first.

Crisis averted.

Until two days later, when my daughters got my password too – I know, I’m helpless! I love fostering their love of music, and I thought giving it to them was harmless. After the girls got home from school they retreated to my youngest’s room to hang out. How sweet, I thought, they’re spending quality time together!

…and then my music abruptly cut out of my headphones and I heard Justin Bieber streaming out from my kid’s room. I stuck with it, trying to work through the catchy songs, but let me tell you, trying to blog while Bieber’s music pounds in your ears? Not possible. Not unless you’re trying to write an article on pop music.

There had to be something else I could do besides dishing out $40 so my family could each have their own plan. Then, I remembered that I’d heard something about a family plan on Spotify, and I set to googling. I saw that Spotify’s Family plan was only $15 a month, $5 more than I was paying for just one account. I’d already tasted boundless listening before I’d relinquished my password to my family. I had to have it!

When I brought it up at the dinner table that night, everyone was pumped, especially our kids. Having their own accounts let them feel very grown up, but because it’s a family plan, I can set their ages on the account so they’re only listening to music that’s age-appropriate.

We set it up together that night. No more listening to Justin Bieber while I’m trying to write. No more getting cut off from my ambient music for my husband’s hair metal habits. My girls each already have their own mini bluetooth speaker – including a shower one, so they can jam anytime. That way, while they’re playing music in their rooms, I can get lost in my headphones and concentrate on work.

After a few days, my whole family was hooked. It’s been really fun to share playlists with each other, and I’m surprised by what a nice way it is to connect with my daughters about their expanding music tastes. We can recommend things to each other, or even listen to the same mixes, and we don’t have to worry about them listening to music with content we find too questionable.

I’ve also loved the Spotify Family plan because you can have up to six people on one account. Although you’re technically supposed to all be living in the same house, it’s not heavily enforced. It’s been nice to finally give my sister something back in return for all those years on her Netflix account. Even though she lives in Louisiana, she’s on my family plan too.

All in all, it’s been such a worthwhile investment for my family. $15 per month is really not a lot to ask for in exchange for a wide variety of music that we can all get into. We’ve worked it into our monthly budget so that we can all get to enjoy what we want, when we want. Possibly the nicest perk has been using Spotify in my car with the auxiliary jack. We listen to some new family favorites together – Solange’s A Seat at the Table is one we’re all four very into right now. It makes longer commutes and bad traffic more fun when we’re not endlessly flipping channels or cycling through the same music on our phones over and over.

At first I wasn’t sure if Spotify would work out for my family, but it’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoy having it for all of us, but honestly, even if it were just me and my husband, I’d still be down. It’s fun to get into the music my girls like, and show them what I’m into as well. All I need now is for them to move on past Justin Bieber.

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