Wanna Feel Old? Spotify Might Want You to if the Age Cap Setting Is Actually a Thing

When will the ageism in the country stop? A potential age cap on Spotify has us feeling like the Crypt Keeper.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 25 2024, Published 2:51 p.m. ET

Spotify age cap notification; Olivia Rodrigo
Source: Twitter/@soren_iverson; Getty Images

Famous actor and semi-guru Keanu Reeves was once asked how he confronts aging: "With a wonder and a terror. Yeah, I'll say that. Wonder and terror." That's a refreshingly honest response to a question that many people will try to wellness their way out of. We live in a world where aging is weaponized against us, and by us, I mean mostly women. Instead of fully fessing up to the fear of getting older, we're told we should happily accept it. You're getting wiser, they say. I do not accept this.

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It has nothing to do with society's standards, and everything to do with a new wrinkle or grey hair marching me closer to my own death. How can I possibly rage against the dying of the light if I can't even run anymore? My knees quit this job ages ago. And thanks to social media, I learned of a new way my own mortality might be thrown in my face.

Spotify could have an age cap dictated by the artists themselves. Is it real? Let's put on our bifocals and take a look.

Alexandra Grant looks at longtime partner Keanu Reeves
Source: Getty Images

Keanu Reeves with his age appropriate girlfriend, artist Alexandra Grant

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What's the deal with the Spotify age cap?

As a woman in her forties, I spend a great deal of time aging against the machine. Every strange new pain or bodily function that greets me throughout the day is a reminder that perhaps I'm not long for this world. In those moments I find solace in music — until now. On April 24, 2024, a gorgeous spring day was ruined when Twitter user Soren Iverson took to the flailing social media app to bust an age cap in our souls.

"Spotify "age cap" means you can't listen to some artists if ur [sic] too old," he wrote above a screenshot of said Spotify account. While allegedly attempting to listen to Olivia Rodrigo, who at the time of this writing is 21 years-old, a box popped up claiming this was not an age-appropriate choice. "Aren't you a little too old to be listening to Olivia Rodrigo?" the app asked. It only gets worse from here.

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Source: Twitter/@soren_iverson

According to this screenshot, the "Drivers License" singer set an age cap of 25 for her listeners. The notification also claims that anyone older than that is not allowed to stream her music. Have you gasped in horror yet? I did! We are then given two options: "Okay, okay," or "Oh, come on." This is way too sassy be real. Or perhaps I'm just in denial about ageism.

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Is the Spotify age cap real? Please let the older people live!

I scoured the Spotify for Artists Terms and Conditions of Use page, desperately looking for answers. The only reference to age is regarding how old one has to be in order to become a Spotify artist. "In order to use Spotify for Artists on behalf of your Subscribing Entity, you need to (1) be 13 years of age (or the equivalent minimum age in your home country) or older." If you're under 13, you need permission from a parent or guardian. There is zero mention of being too old to ride this ride.

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I also conducted an experiment of my own, and by this I mean I asked my young coworkers to try and stream Olivia's music. Although I am way north of 25 years of age, I don't use Spotify. I maintain YouTube Music is the superior app, but I digress. My young coworkers were all too eager to use their non carpal tunnel syndrome hands to help.

"I just checked now, no age cap, that message didn't come up," said my 28 year-old work buddy. "This is definitely Photoshopped given the buttons, but I (a 26-year-old) just tried it and had no issue," chimed in another. Yet a third mid-20s coworker said they, too, had no problems, though admitted to using the desktop version of Spotify.

I think I can say, with the confidence that can only come from being a teenager in the mid-90s, that there is no age cap on Spotify. It should be noted that per Soren's Twitter bio, he is a designer. Perhaps next time he'll design some compassion for those of us who are old enough to remember when all of your favorite reboots were just boots.

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