Since I currently don't use iTunes Match, but have started to use the new iOS8 Family Sharing feature to share app and music purchases with the rest of my family, I'm curious to see whether Family Sharing also shares the iTunes Match content with the rest of the family.

Does data from one family member's iTunes Match account show up for other family members that are part of the same Family Sharing group?

3 Answers 3


No. Each family member would have to use purchases in the cloud to download your entire music library.

I know of several people that tried family sharing and I've gone back to one Apple ID because of how well iTunes match works for them. Losing that feature to gain the rest wasn't worth it in the short run.

My gut feeling is that sharing between two adults it's better to stick with one Apple ID and families with small children will prefer a family sharing in the 8.0 incarnation of the feature


No. This Apple support document details what can and cannot be shared with family sharing. In particular, there is a list of items that cannot be shared:

There are a few things that you can't share:

  • Songs added to iTunes Match from outside the iTunes Store
  • In-App Purchases
  • Items that are no longer available on the iTunes Store
  • Items that were hidden
  • Apps that aren't shareable

We still don't know how many apps will opt-out of being shareable. So this "few things" could end up being many things.

You could alternately describe the above list as Things That Can Be Shared Only With a shared iTunes Account.

So if you want maximum media sharing between adults, but still want to use Family Sharing for restricting children and/or for its non-media features (photo sharing, location sharing, calendars, etc.), then the best compromise seems to be:

  1. Define one Apple ID (the "ownership ID") to be used only for media purchases, for iTunes Match, etc.. Adults use this Apple ID only for logging into the iTunes Store and the App Store.

  2. Create an individual personal Apple ID for every adult and child. Everyone uses their personal ID for iCloud, Messages, and other personal services.

  3. If you want to restrict children, then children also use their personal accounts for iTunes (which means they don't get iTunes Match and other non-shareable media, but they do get restricted sharing and purchasing via Family Sharing)

  4. The ownership account or an adult's personal account configures itself as the family organizer, and invites all the other accounts to the family.

I believe this configuration achieves the following effect:

  1. Adults get unrestricted sharing via logging into iTunes with the ownership account
  2. Children can get restricted sharing/purchasing via Family sharing
  3. Everyone gets private messaging and doc-sharing via their personal IDs
  4. Future purchases by adults are owned by the ownership account, diminishing fragmentation (unlike purchases by children, which will be owned by the child's account, paid for by the ownership account, and shareable only as far as allowed by family sharing)

How to decide whether to use the ownership account or an adult personal ID to be the family organizer? I don't know. It seems pretty equivalent to me. One difference is that, if you use an adult personal account as the family organizer, then you have to duplicate payment information in the ownership account and in that individual's personal account.


There is a solution for this. I just spent 2 hours on the phone with Apple today, June 10, 2015. It requires using 2 Apple ID's on the secondary phone(s). I was going to go into detail and attempt to answer this to help others to avoid the problems that I had. When I went to the other thread that I had not read far enough down, I found a link that explains it better than I ever could. So let me share that with you. http://getmegeeky.com/2013/04/solve-a-great-icloud-mystery-dealing-with-multiple-apple-ids-across-apple-devices/

-Chuck Karma

  • That link really is a great description of how to do things before iTunes Family Sharing. But then you don't get the benefits of iTunes Family Sharing. These are streamlined photo-sharing, calendar-sharing, and location-sharing; discounted group price on Apple Music; and parental restrictions on some family members' purchases. This might be the right choice. The downside of family sharing is, I think, that it does not allow as comprehensive a sharing of purchases as you get with a shared iTunes AppleID.
    – algal
    Jul 12, 2015 at 4:54

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