'Age cap' is not a feature on Spotify

A post shared on social platforms said Spotify had set a maximum age filter for pop star Olivia Rodrigo and that anyone over 25 would not be permitted to listen to her music.  This is false; the originator of the post acknowledged it was satirical, and the company said no such rule applies on the streaming platform.

"Spotify 'age cap' means you can't listen to some artists if ur too old," said the April 24, 2024 post on X with thousands of interactions from Soren Iverson, whose website says he is a designer and consultant who published satirical "ideas."

The image, also shared on Threads, included text saying: "Aren't you a little too old to be listening to Olivia Rodrigo? The artist has set an age cap at 25. Since you're older than this, you can't listen to them."

Sorenson acknowledged a short time after the original post that the image was among similar "unhinged concepts" he was working on (archived here), and used it to promote a book he called "Can You Imagine?"

But the post was quickly shared elsewhere on X and on Facebook and Instagram without a satire mention in most cases. Some commenters made humorous remarks while others appeared to believe the post, with one user writing: "Discrimination against old people. Let them listen to whoever and whatever they want to listen to."

<span>Screenshot of an X post taken May 10, 2024</span>
Screenshot of an X post taken May 10, 2024
<span>Screenshot on an Instagram post taken May 10, 2024</span>
Screenshot on an Instagram post taken May 10, 2024

A Spotify spokesperson told AFP in a May 10 email that the claim about an age cap is "incorrect."

Spotify's terms of service do not set a maximum age. Users must be 18 or older to use the most popular music streaming platform, while those between the ages of 13 and 18 must have parental consent (archived here).

Spotify's online page for Olivia Rodrigo shows no restrictions as suggested in the posts.

<span>Screenshot of Olivia Rodrigo's artist page on Spotify taken May 10, 2024</span>
Screenshot of Olivia Rodrigo's artist page on Spotify taken May 10, 2024

AFP has fact-checked other satirical posts shared out of context here, here and here.