Music streaming services like Spotify offer fantastic value for the money, but what if a family plan is too big for you, and you don’t want to pay double the price of a single subscription? Spotify Duo may be precisely what you need if that sounds like you.

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What Is Spotify Duo?

Spotify Duo is simply a subscription tier that provides a Spotify Premium account to two people at a lower cost than either two individual Premium subscriptions or the Premium Family Plan, which provides Spotify Premium for six people.

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    Spotify Duo costs $12.99 a month. In contrast, a single subscription plan costs $9.99, and the Family Plan comes in at $14.99. So you save a lot compared to the $20 for both individual subscriptions. It’s only two dollars cheaper than the family plan, and you lose four subscription slots. However, if you only need Spotify for two people, there’s little reason to pay the extra two bucks.

    One cool feature of Spotify Duo is that you can have a “Duo mix” shared playlist with the other person, similar to the “family mix” of the top-tier option.

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    There are terms and conditions for Spotify Duo. The subscription is meant for two people who live in the same household. So couples, roommates, or other pairs of people who live together at the same address are eligible. If you live at different addresses, you’re not supposed to use Spotify Duo.

    Spotify Duo Eligibility in Detail

    There are three main requirements that anyone who uses Spotify Duo must fulfill to be eligible.

    1. The first is that both the “primary” account holder and the “subsidiary” account holder must reside at the same physical address.
    2. The second requirement is that both account holders provide their home addresses. If the two addresses don’t match, you can’t use Duo.
    3. You also have to agree to the possibility that you may be asked to verify your addresses again from time to time.

    Spotify’s terms and conditions state that they reserve the right to suspend or cancel your Duo subscription if they believe you aren’t sticking to the rules.

    The Perks of Spotify Premium

    Whichever of the Premium subscription tiers you choose, you’re getting the same perks, but what are they? Why not just use Spotify’s free tier?

    The biggest reason to pay up for a premium plan is that you get no ads. Unless you’re feeling nostalgic for the music listening experience on broadcast radio, you’ll probably enjoy an absence of advertising. We think that a podcast also benefits from the lack of advertising, so Premium is an even more compelling option if you’re a podcast fan.

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    The free version of Spotify also doesn’t allow you to control which songs are being played. You get a limited number of skips, so this experience is more radio-like than the premium option and may not suit your musical tastes. 

    You can download music to your smartphone and enjoy offline listening anywhere without using expensive mobile data or having to worry about signal strength. Just play your saved music and forget about signal bars. You can also access high-quality streaming or downloads, which is noticeable on more expensive headphones.

    Overall, we consider Spotify’s free tier too limited to be a primary music streaming service. For a more detailed evaluation of Spotify Premium, check out Is Spotify Premium Worth it?

    When Is the Family Plan Better?

    If you have more than two people who want Spotify Premium, the Family plan is by far the cheapest way to do it. Even if you only use three of the six slots, it’s still a better deal. Of course, the more people on your family plan, the cheaper it works out on a per-person basis. 

    Spotify Account-sharing Enforcement

    Of course, when using a family plan (or Duo), you may be tempted to split the cost with people who don’t live with you. If you do this, you violate the terms and conditions and risk getting your account suspended.

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    It’s unclear how exactly Spotify would detect and enforce these rules. In 2018, Spotify experimented with GPS-based validation, but this idea is no longer in effect now.

    In other words, as far as we can see, it operates on an honor system. Whether you take advantage of this fact is something we’ll leave to your moral compass. However, what a legitimate “duo” or “family” means is certainly open to interpretation, and it doesn’t seem as if Spotify is pushing the point too much.

    Just be aware that, in the future, you’ll have no recourse if Spotify does decide to enforce its policies.

    Spotify Duo Alternatives

    There are many other streaming services to choose from these days, but none of them offer a direct competitor to Duo at the time of writing. While services like Apple Music, Amazon Music, or YouTube Music offer single- and family- subscriptions, you won’t find two-person options.

    Of course, if you’re already a Spotify user and simply want to add one person to your subscription, you already know that you’re happy with what the service offers. 

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    It’s only an issue when you’re deciding between different services before taking the plunge. There’s more to consider than just pure price. 

    For example, YouTube Premium includes both ad-free YouTube and a music service.

    Additionally, it’s essential to subscribe to the service that hosts the music you want to listen to. If your favorite artist isn’t on Spotify, you’ll have to go elsewhere. 

    Is Spotify Premium Duo for You?

    With all the relevant information on the table, it’s time to figure out if the Spotify Premium Duo plan is right for you instead of having separate accounts.

    If you’re two people living at the same address who want Spotify Premium, put a tick in the “yes” column. If you’re happy with it, it’s a great deal.

    One small caveat is that the primary account holder is responsible for the whole bill. So if you’re splitting the cost with someone, you’ll have to put up the cash and get it back from them. If you’re a secondary account user, just remember that the primary account holder has the power to kick you off. So be nice to them!