Enlarge / This promo clip for Duo is exactly what you think it is—green puppet is a classical musician who declares his superior taste, and blue puppet “can spot a good song when he hears it.”
Today, Spotify announced that it is expanding its Duo plan to 55 markets, including the United States. In a nutshell, Spotify Duo is a dual plan for couples—who must reside at the same physical address—without a family.
If you want Spotify Premium service, the appeal of a family account is obvious—individual Spotify Premium accounts go for $9.99/mo apiece, while a family account that covers up to six people goes for $14.99/mo. Duo sits in between the two at $12.99/mo—for the most part, it’s simply Family without the family, offering fewer total accounts and no parental controls.
The new Duo plan also comes with a feature called Duo Mix, intended to provide mutually enjoyable playlists based on the preferences of both partners on a Duo plan. The mix is automatically generated, and its overall tempo can be changed by tapping “chill” or “upbeat” icons on a mobile device.
Each song on the artificially generated playlist includes the profile picture of the partner whose tastes it was generated from—so if you still can’t agree on music, you can at least definitively target the responsible party when “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Who Let The Dogs Out,” or some strange indie folk song starts playing.
Enlarge / In 2019, two-person households were the single largest US segment, at 34.51 percent.
Some outlets have expressed surprise at Duo’s appeal—characterizing it as “solving a problem few people face.” But the plan makes a lot more sense if you assume—rightly or wrongly—that customers will follow Spotify’s actual restrictions. Both Spotify Duo and Spotify Family require all plan members to live at the same physical address.
Two-person households were the largest single group in the United States in 2019; when combined, households of between three and six persons were only slightly larger at 35.9 percent total. In all likelihood, many Spotfiy Family members “cheat a little” and include a non-residential friend or family member in their account. But for those who play by the rules, Duo is a win—even if it’s only a $2 win—for millions of potential customers.