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Spotify’s improved family plan features now available to new subscribers

Spotify might be the biggest music streaming service on the planet, but you can’t accuse it of resting on its laurels. It continues to add features on a seemingly constant basis. The most current example is an update to Spotify’s family plan, which adds parental controls for the account that pays the bills. The update is now available to all new subscribers in the U.S., and existing Family Plan members will get it starting next week. Spotify previously said it would notify existing members when the new features are available.

The update gives those with family plans several new features, but the big one is the ability for the main account holder to block or allow songs with explicit content for each sub-account associated with the plan. The company said this feature was heavily requested, and it makes sense: Individual users have always had the option to block explicit content if they chose, but there’s been no way for parents or guardians to make that decision on behalf of their kids. With the update, parents now have a way to filter content from a centralized location, which ups the ante against Apple Music, which can filter explicit content, but requires parents to enable it on a device-by-device basis. Prents also need access to their kids’ devices to do it. Google Play’s parental controls work similarly, as does Pandora’s.

Family plans also get access to a new Family Mix personalized playlist, which takes the musical tastes of up to six sub-accounts and mashes them into a single playlist. Depending on your family, this could prove to be an eclectic list indeed.

The main account holder gets a new Family Hub, which acts as a central location for managing all aspects of the family plan, from adding and removing sub-accounts to filtering explicit content.

These additions come at the right time for Spotify. Recent rumors suggest the company is toying with the idea of raising its premium plan rates in some markets. If this happens, it will need all of the competitive advantages it can create in order to keep customers from jumping to one of the many other streaming music options.

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