Spotify Simplifies Its Family Plan, Drops Price to $14.99 for 6 Users

Spotify's lower family rate saves a family of six people $20 a month over its old rates and puts them in line with Apple Music's rates.

Spotify, Apple music, streaming music, Rhapsody, family plan

Spotify has dropped the price of its Spotify Family Plan premium music streaming services to $14.99 for up to six family members, saving a family of six about $20 per month over its former rates.

The music streaming company unveiled its lower prices in a May 23 announcement, replacing its old pricing structure of $9.99 for the first user and $5 each for each additional user for family members. Under the revised plan, each user gets his or her own Spotify premium account, according to the company. With the old rate structure, a family of six would have paid $34.99 a month for six premium accounts. A family of four would have paid $24.99 per month.

The new Spotify Family Plan rate puts the service on par with Apple Music, which charges $9.99 for one user or $14.99 for up for six family members.

Spotify members who already have Family Plan accounts will be switched over to the new pricing on their next payment date and will be able to keep their existing playlists, personal recommendations and other features. Spotify users have access to more than 30 million songs and can play any song on any device at any time, with no ads or restrictions with HD quality sound, according to the company.

The new Family Plan pricing is available immediately to all users around the world (except in Canada) in their local currencies. Spotify still offers free streaming music accounts with fewer features—and no HD sound—for users who are willing to listen to periodic ads.

Spotify's presence in the music streaming market got some stiff competition in June 2015 when Apple launched its Apple Music streaming music service. In January, Apple Music passed the 10 million subscriber plateau, hitting that mark in just six months—which is 10 times faster than the six years it took Spotify to hit the same milestone, according to an eWEEK story.

Apple launched Apple Music on June 30, 2015, in 100 countries, including the United States, to join the iTunes store as a means to give music lovers a new way to find a huge catalog of music in one destination.

By diving into the streaming music business, Apple took on competitors including Spotify, Pandora, Google Play and others in offering subscribers the ability to listen to almost limitless music collections in real time from anywhere.

Earlier in May, reports surfaced that Apple is planning a redesign and update of Apple Music to make it easier to use and to try to attract more users, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Among the changes that are expected are improvements to the service's user interface, as well as better integration with its music download services.

Spotify's price drop is likely in response to Apple's coming changes as the two companies battle it out for customers.

In January, Spotify released its first video content for its new video streaming services on its Android playback app. The first content featured short video clips in a few markets, including the United States, the UK, Germany and Sweden. In May, Spotify began looking to expand its business into online video as it worked to grow in size around the world.

Also in January, Spotify acquired two more companies, Cord Project and Soundwave, to bolster its streaming services to its customers. Cord Project, which was founded in New York in 2014, offers Cord, a one-tap voice messaging platform built for phones, tablets and watches on iOS and Android, while Soundwave, founded in Dublin in 2012, offers its Soundwave music social networking app that helps users discover new music, share songs and connect with like-minded music fans.