The curious case of the Spotify squatter

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Yesterday, I was playing music on Spotify and it kept stopping because someone else was using my account… that’s not an uncommon occurrence as my kids are often using it but I didn’t think they were this time. After the usual squabble over “Play it here”, Nno, play it here”, “No. Play. It. Here.”, I managed to listen to the tracks I wanted to hear.

Then, this morning, I tried to sync some music to my Spotify account, only to find that my iPhone told me Spotify was being used on a complete stranger’s Phone!

One quick password change later and I was sure no-one else was using it. I later removed all devices from my account and re-added them, just for good measure.

Later in the day though, I noticed that all of my playlists were missing. I also saw that my activity stream showed a lot of music that I hadn’t listened to:

These are not my songs!

Someone else has definitely been using my account. Or at least that’s what Spotify thinks!

I could live with the account activity but missing playlists were a big concern. Luckily, Spotify support pointed me to a link to recover playlists where, sure enough, I saw they had been deleted yesterday! It took a few visits to that link before all of my playlists were located and recovered but I seem to be back to where I was before the mix-up.

Now, I don’t think that Spotify has been compromised – if someone had hijacked my account they would have changed my password and locked me out, surely? But I do suspect a database corruption. Spotify aren’t admitting anything is up, of course… but my trust in the service has been severely damaged.

9 thoughts on “The curious case of the Spotify squatter

  1. This happened to me today. Didn’t lose my playlists though. But someone was using my spotify on their iPhone and it must have been a surprise for them to hear some music I made them listen before they changed it again. Changed password and everything’s been fine after that.

  2. I too had a similar situation, and I think it is certainly possible that there was a hack — not on a specific account, but maybe that Spotify got hacked, or there is a link to an associated service that was hacked (for instance PS4, who logs in to your Spotify account).

    I am usually very good at keeping my information secure, and not the type that ends up with a bunch of spyware, so I find it hard to believe that this is a case of someone snagging my password from somewhere. Luckily, whoever it was didn’t do much damage and I use Spotify a ton, so I caught on to it very quickly.

    I definitely agree that something is up that I think Spotify is aware of, but not admitting to.

  3. I’m having this same issue right now. I noticed earlier this week that some random playlists had been added to my account. I figured it was my kiddos adding music to our home computer but then today I noticed someone was listening to some Spanish music on a device I didn’t recognize. I’ve updated my password and used the “log me out of every device” functionality but that doesn’t seem to be working. We’ll see what they decide to do but this might be enough for me to jump ship to Apple Music.

  4. This has been happening to me lately, enough that I’m ready to close my account. I’ll open up my app and it’ll say it’s playing elsewhere (on a Samsung S6 or something I don’t own) When this first happened, I signed out of all devices via Spotify website, revoked access from my Facebook account (I use Facebook to login), changed my Facebook password, changed my password managers password…. Re-granted Spotify for Facebook authentication… All good for a couple days until it happened again this morning. Same phone as before.

    Definitely think there’s an issue with their database. I told them they need a fix asap or I’m just going to call it quits with Spotify.

  5. Had the exact same experience, so clearly this is an issue with Spotifys back end system, which in itself is very very concerning

  6. Just happened to me. Lost all playlists and some one had added their own. Had to log out of all devices and change password. Then I had recover all playlists and delete the one the “hacker” had created. Lost all the offline stuff on my phone which was a pain. It is a concern to me as unsure if I was hacked or as previously stated, was this a database mismatch??

  7. Happened to me today as well. All my playlists were gone and two new were added, along with an empty playlist titled: “Do not remove playlists of other users”.

  8. This has just started happening to me… And it’s extremely annoying and unsettling that someone else has access to my account.. it’s only me in the account and I’ve done back and forth battles with whoever it is…

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