Save money on Netflix, Stan, Spotify and more with family plans


How to share your online subscriptions and digital purchases.

Sharing is saving


Music, videos and books are all moving online, either as subscription services or stores you buy digital products from. But did you know you can save a little cash by sharing the load?

Some services let you create family plans with multiple users, which ends up costing less per person. Others let you share digital products (such as ebooks or movies) you've already bought.

Make sure whoever you share with is someone you implicitly trust.

Often, anyone on the same plan as you can see your personal details, so it's best done with friends or family you can rely on.

Music streaming

Music streaming services let you sign up and pay for a subscription, after which you get access to as much music as you want, whenever you want. You can create your own playlists, save favourite artists and albums, and even find playlists other people have made publicly available. These streaming services also learn what you like over time and suggest new music to you.

It's best to have your own individual account. If you simply give your login details to somebody else it can cause confusion. For example, all your playlists and preferences will be combined, as the service thinks it's only one person. If you have different taste in music, this can affect results for the service, suggesting music that you might like. And you can only have one person listening at a time (of course, the service rightly assumes you only have one pair of ears).

Family plans let you add more people, each with their own personal account details, to the same plan and pay less per head. And you can all listen to your own individual playlists at the same time.

Music subscription services

Price per
month
Number of
accounts
Offline
listening
Ads
Spotify
Free
$0
1
No
Yes
Premium
$12
1
Yes
No
Premium for family
$18
6
Yes
No
Apple Music
Student
$6
1

87
75

Individual
$12

1

83

82

Family
$18
6
81
NA*
YouTube Music
Free
$0
1
81
72
Premium
$12

1

79
NA*

Premium for family
$18

6

79
NA*

Google Play Music*
Free
$0
1

79
NA*

Unlimited
$12

1

79
NA*

Family
$18

6

79
NA*

*Google Play Music has been succeeded by YouTube Music. However, both services still exist. A subscription to YouTube Music Premium also gives you a free subscription to Google Play Music Unlimited.

We compare Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and more in our music streaming service reviews.

Video streaming

Subscription video streaming services charge a monthly payment to watch as much as you want, when you want, with no ads.

Instead of specific family plans for adding extra people, they usually have different pricing tiers. Each tier usually allows more video streams to run simultaneously, and offers higher resolution viewing – if your TV and internet can support it.

You can usually create as many user profiles per plan as you want – it's just how many people can watch at the same time that's limited.

Video streaming services

Price per
month
Simultaneous
streams
Video
resolution
Netflix
Basic
$10
1
SD
Standard
$14
2
HD
Premium
$18
4
UHD
Stan
Basic
$10
1
SD
Standard
$12
3
HD
Premium
$15
4
UHD

YouTube

Price per
month
User accounts
streams
Premium
content
Ads
Free
$0
1
No
Yes
Premium
$15
1
Yes
No
Premium family
$23
6
Yes
No

YouTube Premium is a little different to other video streaming services. Like regular YouTube, you can have any number of streams going at one time from the same account. However, your subscriptions, saved preferences, and personalised home screen are all shared.
YouTube Premium also includes a subscription to YouTube Music Premium – a competitor to Spotify and Apple Music. For music, you can only listen to one stream at a time per account, so if you want more you need a family plan.

We compare Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and more in our movie and TV streaming reviews.

Digital purchases

Just because you haven't bought a physical product doesn't mean you can't hand it around to other people in your household. Sometimes, you can share your digital purchases with other people, so they don't have to buy it again themselves.

Google Play

Google's Family Library lets you link up to five accounts to yours. This gives the other people access to the Google Play movies, TV shows, apps, games, and ebooks you've purchased or rented.

You can control what categories are shared, and set your account to automatically share everything, or select what to share manually. You can also set up a single family payment method, managed by the person who set up the Family Library.

Apple

Family sharing allows you and up to five family members to share things you've bought on iTunes (music, movies, TV shows and more), Apple Books and the App Store. It can also help you find each other's missing devices and give everyone access to the same iCloud storage plan.

The person who sets up family sharing chooses what features will be shared and sends out invites. Once the invitation is accepted, everything's shared automatically. However, you can elect to keep certain purchases private, if you wish.

Amazon

Amazon lets you share both your ebook purchases and Amazon Prime benefits. Add up to two adults, four teens and four child profiles to your Amazon Household.

Any Kindle ebook or Audible audiobook you purchase will be available to everyone you share with, meaning you don't have to sign in and out of each other's accounts just to avoid buying the same book twice.

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you also get delivery benefits, such as free or discounted delivery and early access to Amazon Lightning Deals – special sales for select products sold in the online store.

Amazon videos and music

Amazon's Prime Video streaming service doesn't require a separate subscription; it comes with the standard Amazon Prime membership ($7 per month), which includes shipping and special deal benefits for the Amazon online store.

Unlike its competition, it doesn't have separate pricing tiers to add more simultaneous streams or better video quality. You can watch on up to three devices at once, create individual user profiles, and stream in up to 4K – as long as the video you've chosen is available in that resolution.

Amazon also recently launched its own music streaming service – Amazon Music.

Unlike Amazon Prime Video, it doesn't come part-and-parcel of an Amazon Prime subscription. Like its competitors, it has monthly subscriptions for individual and family plans. Individual is $12 per month and family is $18 for up to six accounts.


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