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Family Plan: "Someone Else is Listening" Message

Seb
Local Performer

At home we listen to Pandora via Sonos / Alexa smart speakers. At the same time my wife as well as I like to listen through our phones. To avoid the "someone else is listening" issue we joined the family plan. Annoyingly this did not help, as we still got the same error msg. 

As a next step I created for my own use a new account and invited it into the family. But now I get ads. How do I change that?

Also, this setup also makes it cumbersome as I always have to change user on my phone. 

 

There must be a more elegant way, appreciate any help.

 

Moderator Edit: Edited title for clarity

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97 Replies

johnkmcdowell
Local Performer

This post is for AdamPandora. I have read through all of the posts in this forum related to the Family plan. A common theme is the multiple account issue as it relates to Amazon Echo devices and Sonos. I currently have a premium plan but not a family plan. I would like to upgrade to the family plan (and cancel Apple Family plan, Amazon, and spotify since I prefer Pandora "stations") but if I still have limits on my Echo and Sonos systems it does not solve the problem. You continue to respond that you need multiple accounts but you have not yet given any suggestions regarding Sonos and Echo devices. Additionally for my wife and I to make this work on each of our phones and at home we will need 3 different Pandora accounts (all linked to the family plan and assuming there is a solution for the Echo and Sonos such that we could play different music in different rooms). Does that mean we will need to create a new email addressed just to create the "home" account or can we create multiple accounts using the same email address? This way we could have an account for my phone, an account for my wife's phone, an account for Sonos and an account for Echo.


Moderator Edit: Edited title for clarity

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@johnkmcdowell How many devices do you plan on streaming at one time?

For example, do you want to plan Pandora on your Echo device in one room, while your wife listens to Pandora in another room using Sonos?

Let me know.

Adam | Community Moderator

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loftygoals
Local Performer

After reading the multiple pages of posts, it seems there is a common thread with a desire to utilize a family subscription to listen to Pandora on different Alexa devices concurrently.  (Which I do as well, which is why I found this thread.)

The scenario looks like this:

A Pandora user has multiple devices in the home.  Perhaps an Echo Studio in the Living Room, an Echo Show in the office, an Echo Dot Kids Edition in a child's room, and a Fire TV in the bedroom.  All of these devices are registered under a single Amazon Alexa account.

My child starts listening to listen to KIDZ BOP Kids while playing in her room.  I'm working away in my office and attempt to listen to some Jazz.  When I attempt to start my music, I receive a message that "Someone else is listening to your Pandora account."

What gives?  I have a family plan that allows up to 6 people to listen at the same time!

The problem is that unlike some streaming services where multiple streams are allowed under the same account, Pandora allows multiple accounts under the same subscription.  This is an important distinction because when you enable the Pandora Skill for Alexa, you link a single Pandora account.  And this limitation in the skill is where the problem arises.

This is a current limitation of the system, and from a technical perspective, it is difficult to fix.  It makes complete sense that Pandora opted to force users in a family plan to have separate accounts.  I certainly don't want my child curating my stations.  But, this scenario is problematic when it comes to the Alexa ecosystem because there isn't a way to link multiple accounts to a single skill in the Alexa framework.  Thus, we have a situation where both Pandora and/or Amazon Alexa would have to change to resolve this issue.

As a workaround, I would suggest that Pandora creates a second Pandora skill.  The second skill could be called something such as "Pandora Family".  In actuality, this skill would be identical to the normal Pandora skill, but simply be named something else.  This would allow the association of another account from your family plan.

This would then work like this:

I'd link the normal Pandora skill to my email address for my Pandora Account--for example myemail@gmail.com.  Then I'd created a new email account called something such as myfamilypandora@gmail.com, created a Pandora account with this account, and then use my main Pandora account (myemail@gmail.com) to invite the new account (myfamilypandora@gmail.com ) to the Pandora Family plan.  Finally, I would add the "Pandora Family skill to my Alexa account and link it to the myfamilypandora@gmail.com Pandora account.  I'd also set the "Pandora Family" skill as my default music service in Alexa.

With this configured this way, when you ask Alexa, "Alexa, play kids music" or "Alexa, play kids music on Pandora family" it would play on the Pandora Family skill and use the associated myfamilypandora@gmail.com account.  If you asked, "Alexa, play Jazz on Pandora" Alexa would play the requested Jazz using the main Pandora account associated with myemail@gmail.com.  This would allow streaming two (but only two) unique Pandora accounts on a single Alexa account at the same time.

So to summarize, there isn't currently a way to currently stream two Pandora accounts within the same Alexa account, but if Pandora would create a second Alexa skill, it would be possible to add and use a second account.

Dianep
Local Performer

I changed to the premium family plan so that we can all listen to pandora at the same time and share the favorites.  However after I invited an email of someone in my family, it told me that only one person can listen at a time. This was why I changed to the family premium after chatting with someone from pandora who recommended it. How do I set it up for multiple users to listen at the same time. So stupid to allow up to 5 people to join and then you can't listen to it because someone else is at the same time. Help please!!

AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@Dianep Sorry for any confusion.

If that error message is popping up, then that means your other family members are still logged into your main account.

Upgrading to the Family Plan means that you and up to five other accounts can enjoy all of the benefits of Pandora Premium, while keeping your individual Pandora accounts.

Our support team took a look at your account, and can see so far you've sent an invitation to three different email addresses.

Of those three email addresses, only one of them has accepted the invitation so far. As long as that individual is signed into their account, they should be able to stream Pandora at the same time as you while you are logged into your account.

Although you may have sent invitations for others to join your plan, they will also need to actually manually accept those invitations, and then sign into Pandora using the email addresses the invitation was accepted with.

I hope this clarifies things a bit! Let me know if you continue to run into issues with this after the new accounts are set up.

Adam | Community Moderator

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bhartman67
Underground

The simple solution for Pandora is to allow the Family Plan to stream multiple device.  Four Devices, Mom / Dad and two kids would be best.  The multi account thing doesn't work.  Their fear is that you will share the account with four neighbors and they will miss out on that revenue.  Charge me for each device!  Don't force me to create a new account!!! 

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bhartman67
Underground

People have a device limit problem, not an account problem.

Whether you have 6 devices active simultaneously on ONE account or SIX accounts shouldn't matter.

If Family plan allow six individuals to stream 6 different music streams then Pandora shouldn't care if they are logged into one account or six accounts , It's the same amount of music.

We need to be able to move freely from Alexa, to Sonos, to my iPhone, to my iPad  to my pandora car without having to figure out which device is on which account (its called a cloud baby).  This family doesn't care about the account we care about the music we listen to.

jzh2274
Local Performer

toddleap,

i have the same issue with my sonos and pandora.  @Pandora, will this ever be addressed properly?  looks like this is a pretty widespread issue.  If i want to have music playing on my sonos system and be in the basement streaming from my phone, I should be able to, given that there are only two of us in the house and I'm paying for 5 licenses. there's an opportunity here.... spotify has addressed this, why can't you?  

Hallowfest
Local Performer

A couple months ago I got the premium family plan so that everyone could pick their own music and when shuffling through I wouldn't have to listen to stations I didn't want to hear. Unfortunately this didn't work because as my daughter and husband linked to the account through the invite they were no longer able to log in under their own user names and passwords. Now everyone is logged into mine. We not only have the problem of no one having their own music selection but also we get the message that someone else is using it all the time. Why am I paying for extra for a family when it's the same as using the premium for one person? This does not work as advertised

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AlyssaPandora
Moderator
Moderator

Hey there, @Hallowfest. 👋

Sorry for the trouble with your Pandora Premium Family plan. I moved your post over to this thread as other listeners have mentioned similar experiences.

Feel free to check out @TannerPandora's message about how the family plan works here.

Streaming Pandora Simultaneously:

While your Pandora account can be logged into as many devices as you like, they can't be playing at the same time. Regardless of your subscription level, the revenue from one Pandora account only covers the cost of one stream from one device. As long as you press pause on one device before you listen to Pandora on another, you should be fine.

Individual Accounts under a Single Family Plan:

If multiple people are listening under the same exact account and you keep encountering that "Someone Else is Listening" error message, I would recommend having them reset the password for their original accounts or create a new free account. Then, they should be able to accept your invite, and you can share music with them from your own account (stations, playlists, etc).

In the meantime, someone from our User Support team will reach out to you via email to assist with this process. Please keep an eye out for their email. 📬 Thanks for your patience during this process!

Alyssa | Community Moderator

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volsmokey
Underground

I am a Pandora subscriber now for many years.  It is streamed from my PC at work, a Sonos device automatically every morning at 6AM while getting ready for work, and through CarPlay while I drive.

Because the Sonos comes on at 6AM and automatically off at 8AM, there is overlap that sometimes causes more than one stream to play at a time.  I finally got tired of the message " someone else is listening to your Pandora account......."  So I upgraded to the family plan.  Unfortunately, this does not solve the problem as the extra streams afforded require a different email address.  This makes paying more for the family subscription not worth the hassle and ruins the experience.

Why in the world, can't you just grant five streams, period, to a single login (email address)?  Products like Pandora and Sonos are supposed to make the listening experience more enjoyable and easily available.  The customer pays for this efficiency to enjoy the content.  However, this policy by Pandora often takes the enjoyment away with the message "someone else is listening......"

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@volsmokey I definitely understand your frustration, and we appreciate all of your feedback around the way the family plan currently functions.

If you would like to see the option to stream the same Pandora account on multiple devices simultaneously with the family plan subscription, I recommend creating a feature request explaining your suggestion here. 💡

This will give others around the community a chance to upvote your idea, and in turn gain more eyes around it from our product team. 

In the meantime, you will need to create additional accounts using different email addresses for each of your devices if you are hoping to prevent the "Someone else is listening" error message from popping up.

Hope this helps!  

Adam | Community Moderator

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toddleap
Underground

Alyssa. No one at Pandora seems to be willing to answer the question people have been asking on this board for well over a year.  When will Pandora make the family plan compatible with systems like Sonos?  The Pandora family plan does not currently work with systems like Sonos.  Please don't give another rote answer.  Can Pandora at least admit that the family plan isn't compatible with systems like Sonos and let us know if there are any plans to make it compatible?

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@toddleap I am going to have someone from our User Support team contact you directly for further assistance with this.

Please keep an eye out for their message. 📬

Thanks for your patience.

Adam | Community Moderator

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volsmokey
Underground

Hello Adam, that appears to be a dead link you sent.  The feature request to solve the problem would be to allow one email address account to run simultaneously on up to 5 streams, correct?

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@volsmokey Sorry about that - I updated my previous post with the correct link.

And that is correct - you can create a new feature request suggesting what you mentioned above.

This will give others around the community a chance to upvote your idea, and hopefully gain more eyes from our product team.

Thanks for being a part of the community! 😎

Adam | Community Moderator

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HansSchulze
Underground

All the google devices in both my homes use the my google account... Unless maybe it will one day recognize my wife as a different person and use a different account.  We only have 2 ears each.

I am already on family plan. Why NOT allow two instances.  You can already count to two.  You proved that. 

Long time subscriber.  This would be shallow to make me use another service.

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@HansSchulze I moved your post to this thread since you have similar feedback.

I had our support team take a look at your account, and they mentioned that no one has been added to your family plan subscription yet.

Upgrading to the family plan means that you and up to five other accounts can enjoy all of the benefits of Pandora Premium, while keeping your individual Pandora accounts.

You will first need to set up separate Pandora account for your wife using her own personal email address.

Once that account is created (if it isn't yet already), you can then send them an invitation to join your family plan subscription.

They should then be able to accept the invitation to the family plan subscription you sent.

In order for both you and your wife to stream on your two Google devices simultaneously, just make sure  you are signed into your separate accounts on each device. 

Hope this helps explain! 

Adam | Community Moderator

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tawny
Local Performer

I had this same question. I upgraded to Pandora Family JUST for this reason, but it still doesn't let two of us listen to the same Pandora at the same time. It tries to force one of us to create a 2nd account. It gives us the pop up message that "Someone else is listening...." and asking if I want to let them listen, or let me listen. My boyfriend and I have created this Pandora together, we both want to listen to the same one at the same time. Is this possible? If not, I just wasted money on upgrading, under the impression that we could do this.

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AdamPandora
Moderator
Moderator

@tawny I moved your post to this thread since you have similar feedback.

How multiple people can listen simultaneously with the family plan:

You won't actually be able to listen at the same time as your boyfriend if you are logged into the same account.

You will each need your own account in order to accomplish this. 

Upgrading to the Family Plan means that you and up to five other accounts can enjoy all of the benefits of Pandora Premium, while keeping your individual Pandora accounts.

You will first need to set up separate Pandora accounts using different email addresses for each person that wants to join the subscription.

Once those accounts are created (if they aren't yet already), you can then send them an invitation to join your family plan subscription.

They should then be able to accept the invitation to the family plan subscription you sent.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Create a second account and share your collection:

If you and your boyfriend currently share an account, I recommend creating a second account under a different email address, and then sharing the collection from your original account to the new one you create.

After the new account is created, you can check out this help page article for instructions on how to share content from one account to another.

Hope this helps!

Adam | Community Moderator

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