Running Spotify on a Kid’s phone, without the age restriction

Recently I bought Spotify’s family plan, only to find out that I can not install the Spotify app on their phone from the Google Play Store at all. Not to mention, that the Spotify Kids app is not available in my region, too. WHAAAT?

Restrictions

There are actually two restrictions: Children under 13 are not only disallowed to load the app from the app store, they also can not get an account from Spotify. Depending on country, that is: Per the End User Agreement, in Switzerland, for example, the requirement is:

Must be 18 or older, or be 13 or older and have parent or guardian consent.

While I did not want to cheat on the age of the Google Account (for Family Link reasons), I decided to get an account for each of my kids with a “custom” age value. With this, they can still use Spotify, while being protected by Google’s Family Link.

How to subscribe a family

Here’s how I enrolled my family:

  1. Subscribed to the Spotify Premium Family plan with my own account
  2. Created new accounts for each of the kids, with their birthday set to make them over 18
  3. Linked the kid’s accounts to the family plan

How to listen with the web player

Spotify has a quite decent Webplayer, so you can use that instead of the age-restricted Play Store app:

  1. Go to https://open.spotify.com/ on their phone’s web browser (Google Chrome in my case)
  2. Log them in to Spotify
  3. Create a link on the Home screen which they can use

With this they can now each listen to their favorite tracks on my family plan.

This solutions has some drawbacks:

  • Playback is sometimes a little bit flaky, when the phone gets into lock mode
  • No downloads
  • You can not customize the Spotify usage restriction on Family link, because this is per app (will affect the whole browser usage)

How to install the (Android) app directly from Spotify

As an alternative to the Google Play Store, Spotify also publishes their app as an Android APK package for custom installation. With this, you can circumvent the Play Store’s age restriction easily.

  1. If you are using Family Link, allow unknown sources for the child’s device first:
    In Family Link, on the parent device, select the account, go to the device tab, then Settings, and enable “Apps from unknown sources”
  2. Enable “Apps from unknown sources” in the phone’s settings, on the child’s device
  3. With the child phone’s web browser, open download.spotify.com/android/SpotifyAndroid.apk
    or use this QR-Code with a scanner app.
  4. Install the app
  5. Revert to disallowing unknown sources again

With this, my kids now can listen to their favorite music all day long, which is what I paid for, right?