Spotify trials new Premium Duo plan for two

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Spotify Premium Duo
Sign up to Premium Duo today.
Photo: Spotify

Spotify has started testing a new Premium Duo plan for two.

The bundle offers two Premium subscriptions at a significantly discounted rate. It makes Spotify the only music streaming service to offer a couple’s plan — but it does come with some caveats.

Spotify Premium subscriptions grow after family plan crackdown

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Spotify app now playing screen
Spotify shows no signs of slowing down.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Spotify has seen a rise in Premium subscriptions after the music streaming service started cracking down on family plan subscribers who aren’t really family.

New data reveals 38 percent of Spotify users in the U.S. now pay for the Premium service — up from 36 percent last quarter. Apple Music remains the only platform that has presented Spotify with real competition, but it still has a lot of catching up to do.

Instapaper’s new Premium plan goes live on return to Europe

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Instapaper punishes its European users use
Instapaper Premium unlocks awesome features.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Instapaper has finally returned to Europe following a GDPR blackout, and users can now subscribe to its new Premium plan to unlock additional features.

The service was pulled in the E.U. following the introduction of new data protection regulations, but now it’s fully compliant and ready to do business again. Here’s what you can expect if you upgrade with a Premium subscription.

Spotify picks up 8 million subscribers by copying Apple Music

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Spotify app now playing screen
Spotify and Siri are finally a team.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

When Apple Music made its debut, one of the biggest reasons to switch from rival streaming services was for its $15 family plan. But it wasn’t long before Spotify copied it — and it’s been paying off in a big way.

The bargain family plan helped Spotify attract another 8 million paying subscribers during the second quarter of 2018, taking its total number to 83 million worldwide.

Netflix just got more expensive as new Ultra plan goes live

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Netflix on a MacBook
You now have to pay more for the best Netflix package.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

The Netflix Ultra plan we feared was coming is now live in several countries.

Subscribers will have to pay more to enjoy HDR content on compatible TVs, and to stream movies and TV shows on four devices simultaneously. The Premium plan that previously offered these things has been watered-down, as has the Standard plan.

Netflix could be about to get a lot more expensive for some users

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Netflix iPhone
You’ll have to pay extra to keep four streams.
Photo: Netflix

You might have to pay a lot more for your Netflix subscription if your account is regularly used on more than two devices.

A new leak reveals Netflix could be planning to limit its Premium tier to allow just two devices to stream content simultaneously. Users would have to pay around $20 a more for a new Ultra plan to continue streaming on up to four.

Writing assistants, unlimited phone plans, and more [Week’s best deals]

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Writing assistants, meditation apps, lifetime phone plans and more are all part of this week's best deals.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Here at the Cult of Mac Store, we delight in finding great new deals on tools and tech every week. This go around, we’ve got a gravity-operated mobile car mount, and a super useful writing assistant. Additionally, we’ve got an app to guide you in meditating (really), and a phone plan year of unlimited talk and text. Discounts run from a third to as much as 90 percent off, red on for more details:

Coding classes, wireless earbuds, meditation apps and more [Week’s Best Deals]

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This week's best deals will turn your phone into a mindfulness tool, make your PDFs more flexible, and more.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s getting hot out there. But it’s still nowhere near as hot as the new deals coming into the Cult of Mac Store. This week we’ve added an app that’ll change how you work with PDFs, and a set of future-ready Bluetooth earbuds. There’s also a comprehensive set of courses in Apple’s Swift coding language, and an app that turns your phone into a mindfulness tool. Most are discounted by half or more, read on for more details:

Spotify may block free users from listening to new music

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Spotify
You won't have to listen to music you don't like.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify users who aren’t paying $9.99 a month for a Premium subscription could be prevented from listening to the hottest tracks.

A new report claims the Swedish music streaming company is nearing new deals with major music labels, which stipulate that top releases will initially be available only to paying users.