The discussion is old and of course does not apply only to Spotify: Any service that you can subscribe to via the Internet does exactly the same, whether it comes from Spotify, Google, Apple, Netflix and all the length and so on that you want to add. But since this week Spotify’s new Premium Duo plan was announced, I’m going to give you an example of the hard face that all these companies have when it comes to checking out. And this time I speak for Spain, the country in which I had to be born and in which I continue to live.
As we collected a few days ago, Spotify Premium Duo is a new plan designed for couples living together and stands out for what we described as «a reduced rate of 12.99 euros per month«. And, indeed, it is: instead of each paying the 9.99 euros per month that the individual plan costs, you join the Premium Duo and save 6.99 euros. Of course, if you are living with someone and you both use Spotify, it is cheaper to subscribe to the family plan, which for 14.99 euros per month allows up to six accounts. In this case, you would be saving yourself a couple of euros.
That is, in fact, what many groups of friends do, whether they live together or not: they sign up for the family plan and Spotify Premium comes out for a sum that does not reach 2.50 euros per month. A really attractive price that Spotify is not for the work of generalizing, and it is that it does not take an expert in demography to know that the families of six members are not the most common in today’s society, or at least in one country like Spain, although having them for sure there are.
That is why in the terms of service Spotify indicates as a condition for subscribing to the family plan that “the owner of the main account and the holders of the subsidiary accounts must be members of the same family and reside at the same address”, warning that “It is possible that, from time to time, you may request to reconfirm the address in order to verify that the requirements to access the service are still being met”, which means that the connection IPs, either by address or geolocation, coincide regularly. So from time to time more than a small group of friends find their accounts blocked.
The million dollar question is, Why if they are willing to have a ‘family’ get their Spotify Premium account at 2.50 euros per head, they do not put more adjusted prices so that more people consider becoming a paid user? It is obvious that the family plan is a commercial ploy whose full and legitimate use – six members of the same family who live under the same roof, each with their own account – will be given in a minimum percentage; Obviously, without the insatiable pressure of the record labels, Spotify would have margin to reduce prices and make its offer much more attractive.
But since they are not going to do any of that, Why not at least put a fair price according to the economy of each country? Because not all sites charge the same, and although Spotify and the vast majority of Internet services take it into account because otherwise their business would be unfeasible, countries like Spain – it’s my turn, excuse me – are harmed forever. Because if I want Spotify Premium, I will have to pay the same as an American, a German or a Japanese, whose salary will generally be much higher than mine. Is this fair?
In Spain, Spotify’s individual plan costs 9.99 euros per month. The same as in France, Germany, the United States or Japan. The difference is that the average monthly salary in all these countries is, with data from 2019 and converting everything to euros: 1,658 euros in Spain, 2,415 euros in France, 2,794 euros in Germany, 3,776 euros in the United States and 3,571 euros in Japan. And I don’t even allude to the currency exchange, which is passed through the triumphal arch: the number is the same in dollars and euros. It should also be noted that when we speak of average wages, the bulk of workers who earn the minimum or little more is not considered, in addition to the fact that these are estimates that may vary according to the source, so it is an unrealistic figure in the practical, but the most reliable to hold on to make this type of comparison.
However, Spotify does not work the same way on all sites. Not even within the European Union, where we have gaps that are terrifying. From highest to lowest: from 3,133 euros per month of average salary charged in Luxembourg to 428 euros per month charged in Bulgaria. And how much does Spotify Premium cost in each one? In Luxembourg, 9.99 euros; in Bulgaria, 4.99 euros. Another curious example within the community borders is that of our neighbor Portugal, where the average monthly salary is 997 euros – an amount much closer to the real salary of many Spaniards – and the Spotify Premium account comes out at 6.99 euros. Do they take us for fools, or what?
As I was saying above, it is obvious that Spotify varies the subscription price depending on the territory, because otherwise they would not have potential customers to target. Let us take as an example a couple of the Latin American countries from where many of you read to us: from north to south, the average monthly salary in Mexico would be around 500 euros, in Argentina around 450 euros; Spotify’s individual plan price would cost around 4 and 1.75 euros, respectively. Both countries are above the regional average, but assuming that a Mexican charges the equivalent of 500 euros a month and an Argentine charges 450, why would one pay more than double for the same service?
For inequalities like this, which as I say not only applies to SpotifyMany people will continue to cheat as much as they can and ultimately the subscription car will never get on. Because it’s not fair. So, gentlemen of Spotify, you already know what you can do with the Premium Duo and the two euros of savings that it brings with it.