How to get access to country specific music in Spotify

So, here’s the deal. I am Dutch (yes, with capital D!) and I live in Sweden. Even though I do not live in the Netherlands, I still wish to hear dutch music. Most of the music is online available, however there are a few artists that have not really reached 2014 yet…. or better yet, 2010+. For my case, Gers Pardoel is such an artist. I blame it on the artist, but I must confess that I have little knowledge on how the music industry works; it might just as well be the label, Top Notch. Contacting them about it… well lets face it… they don’t care; I have tried.

How to get access

So… how to can I get access with my Swedish spotify account to dutch specific music which is not available in Sweden? Well… I can’t. Besides that, I use spotify premium. At least.. not with my current account.

Register a new account

What you need to do is register a second spotify account. I used the same email address as I used for my Swedish account, however I added a tag to the address (the + sign). This doesn’t work with all email providers… but since I manage my own domains, I know it works for me. Info from wikipedia:

Some mail services allow a user to append a tag to their email address (e.g., where joeuser@example.com is the main address, which would also accept mail for joeuser+work@example.com or joeuser-family@example.com). The text of tag may be used to apply filtering and to create single-use addresses.[8] Some IETF standards-track documents, such as RFC 5233 refer to this convention as “sub-addressing”. However, many websites’ automatic form validation scripts or software will reject + as an invalid character in the email address.

Spotify is not such a website, and they allow the + sign, even better… they recognize it as a new email address. You can register your account just as you would for your current location. Nevermind the country restrictions.

Change location

After you have finished registering your account, you will notice that you’ll have the country specific music as you had with your other account. What you’ll need to do is change your location. You can do that here: https://www.spotify.com/nl/account/profile/.

You will most likely notice that the “country” box is disabled. This is where we are going to do some magic.

VPN for your location

What I did was that I logged out my spotify account and connected to a free VPN service from FreeVPNAccess.com. In my case, they have US, UK, Canada and NL. If it is US you are aiming for, you could just as well use Unblock-US; the point of the VPN is to let the target (in this case, Spotify) think you are accessing them from that country. Just make sure you are sending ALL TRAFFIC over the VPN connection. To make sure you are, on OS X, open your network settings and select the VPN connection. Then select “Advanced” and check the 3rd checkbox stating “Send all traffic over the VPN-Connection”.

FörhandsvisningScreenSnapz001

Now, connect to the VPN service and open http://www.whatismyip.com/. If you connected successfully, it will show you information according the target country.

For me, when not connected (Sweden):

Google ChromeScreenSnapz007

And when connected to the VPN (Netherlands):

Google ChromeScreenSnapz008

Get rid of the VPN

Now, Login on spotify.com and open the edit profile page again. Now, you should be able to select a different country as your “home country”. For me, I chose the Netherlands and saved my profile. Now I could open Spotify Play and login with my new account. I had now access to the artists music, however… I could not play it:

SpotifyScreenSnapz001

To the left, you’ll see my spotify OS X client, logged in with my swedish account… very limited content. However, on the right you’ll see the spotify play client, logged in with my dutch account.

But… I could still not play the music… this changed when I logged out from the VPN. In my case, the VPN blocked the streaming of the spotify music… why?… I don’t know. But, since I now have a dutch spotify account I don’t need the VPN anymore. Spotify thinks I am now dutch and should be able to listen to dutch music. When I disconnected from the VPN, I reloaded spotify play and it all worked for me.

So, I logged in on my iPhone, in Sweden, and started listening to dutch country specific songs even there. Now I share some playlists from my normal account to my dutch account and I’ll be able to play them in my car as well.

And the best thing… since I am in Sweden… there are NO COMMERCIALS! Most likely, Spotify’s commercials are location based; hence I don’t get any commercials because I do not believe there are many dutch advertisers that add “Sweden” as a target. So, besides the “offline playlists”, I basically have Spotify Premium now as well.

Google ChromeScreenSnapz009

So, in the end: Thanks to Gers Pardoel!

Many thanks go out to @GersPardoel for ignoring me and never replying on ANY of my tweets; thus forcing me to find an alternate route!

Maybe you should thank him as well, he is the reason you are reading this post 😉 Drop him a thanks on Twitter for this post! (Click the link and I’ll pre-fill it for you! 😉 )

“Iedereen wil een deel en delen is wat ik doe”  
 

*Update #1*

It seems spotify has now removed the + email solution. I would not be amazed if that is due to my post… since I have some former colleague working at Spotify and because I made Gers Pardoel aware of this post… but, I do not see that as a problem.. one can get a free-email address basically everywhere.

Ads have start to appear now as well… in Swedish. So, it will not be ad free. Neither can you purchase spotify premium if you do not have a target country specific credit card or paypal account.

My guess though is that you can create such a paypal account, transfer money to that account and use that account to pay for Spotify. I haven’t tried that yet though.

Posted in Development, Dutch, Hacking, Spotify, Tests, Tools, Websites Tagged with: , , , , ,
5 comments on “How to get access to country specific music in Spotify
  1. Kathleen R. Townsend says:

    Paul, thanks for the article. For those who live outside US and want to access Spotify radio , you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.

  2. Paul Peelen says:

    Nice! Didn’t know about UnoTelly. I’ll have a look into it. Thnx =)

  3. Paul Peelen says:

    I have been recommended to use Mullvad, which can offer different VPN services as well.

  4. quidkid says:

    Orrrrr just use Hola (hola.org) and set your country to whatever country’s Spotify you want to access. When you log in, go to your settings as specified and change to the country you’re trying to access. All done. No need to use a sketchy free VPN.

  5. Smantha says:

    I have been using unblock-us, but don’t like it much 🙁 Then I switched to Hide My IP, with it, I’m still access not only Spotify, but also Netflix 😀

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