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Spotify to launch ‘long-requested’ parental controls for Family Plan

Parents will be able to filter out explicit content on their kids’ accounts

Spotify has announced that it will be launching a new Premium Family plan with parental controls -- a feature it says has been “long-requested” on community boards. 

Parents will soon be able to exclude songs with swearing, violence, and other explicit content by toggling on the parental control setting. Deactivating the feature will require the parent’s passcode, so kids won’t be able to switch off the feature themselves. 

“At a time where parents are trying to reduce sc...

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    Amazon and Pandora to release new music streaming services

    Each will offer versions of their service for $5 per month

    Amazon and Pandora may be looking to up the stakes in the music streaming marketplace. Both companies are reportedly looking to release their own music streaming services in the near future to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

    Both companies will also be looking to provide versions of their services for under $10 per month – something that is virtually unheard of in the industry today.

    New music services

    While $10-per-month subscriptions will still be offered by Amazon, users will be able to cut that price to $5 per month if they own the company’s Echo speaker. Subscribers can expect to have access to a wider catalog of music than what is currently available under the company’s Prime membership.

    It isn’t yet clear whether Prime members will have automatic access to the new music streaming service, but critics have argued that they will more than likely need to pay the extra $5 or $10 per month.

    Pandora made a name for itself by providing easily accessible internet radio to consumers. It plans to expand on its current $5 subscription platform by giving users the ability to block unwanted ads, skip more unwanted songs, and save more online playlists.

    The company will also be offering a $10-per-month version of its service that more closely mirrors services provided by Spotify and Apple Music.

    Potential for streaming services

    The new services provided by Amazon and Pandora should provide a bit of a gut-check to the industry. The lower prices could potentially redefine the value that consumers put on music in the Internet Age, where you can find almost any song for free if you really want to.

    The current $10-per-month subscription plans have been likened to the original 99 cents that Apple charged for downloading music when it revealed iTunes back in 2003. However, at an annual cost of $120 per year, many casual music listeners have been unable to justify the price. Some industry experts believe that there is still room for streaming music services to make money, though -- despite the presence of so much free music in the digital space.

    “Even with the presence of free, you can still get tens of millions to pay for streaming services – and possibly much more – in the event that you get the price much lower,” said former digital music executive David Pakman.

    Whether Amazon or Pandora will find that magical low number remains to be seen. Pandora may launch its service as soon as next week, while Amazon will likely release its own later in September.

    Amazon and Pandora may be looking to up the stakes in the music streaming marketplace. Both companies are reportedly looking to release their own music str...