Many users were surprised at the first time Spotify announced it will increase its subscription prices for many users. Users across the UK, US and parts of Europe can expect a significant increase in their Spotify bill.
In the UK, the Premium Student account goes up to £ 4.99 a month to £ 5.99, while the Double Duo offer goes up to £ 12.99 a month to £ 13.99. While the price of a personal account will remain stable at £ 9.99, the biggest blow will be families, as Spotify’s Premium Family Plan is set at £ 14.99 a month to £ 16.99.
In the U.S., this only affects the price of the Premium Family plan, which rises from $ 14.99 to $ 15.99 and from $ 14.99 to $ 17.99, respectively. This is believed to be Spotify’s latest attempt to combat family plans that are shared among friends or individuals. In September 2019, Spotify began asking for evidence that all members of the family plan live at the same address – not surprisingly, this led to a number of privacy complaints.
How does this compare to other streaming services?
These prices make Spotify look much less competitive compared to other streaming services. Take, for example, family plans, Amazon Music, Apple Music and YouTube Music are now all cheaper options, and their plans are priced at the old Spotify prices of $ 14.99 / £ 14.99.
You can read the TechRadar guide the best music streaming services, for a more in-depth comparison.
How was the price increase received?
Some may argue that the price increase is long overdue, but Spotify has a weird time announcing the hike.
In the UK, Spotify (and other streaming services) have been closely monitored, resulting in a high-level study of the economics of lower house streaming. Representatives from across the UK music industry – from label directors to musicians – provided enthusiastic evidence that they felt Spotify’s current payout ratio (between $ 0.03 and $ 0.05 per stream) was not a reasonable reward for their work and that Spotify’s current operating model was toxic. ” the winner takes the all-in-one market, where superstars are rewarded with significantly higher profits, while smaller artists struggle for their livelihoods.
In the U.S., the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers ran a “Justice at Spotify” campaign that brought demonstrations to Spotify offices in 31 cities around the world. Their open the letter – which requires a penny per stream and which would raise Spotify payments to the level of Apple Music – has received more than 28,000 signatures to date.
In response, Spotify launched Loud and clear: a communication initiative designed to increase transparency by sharing new knowledge about the global streaming economy. However, many campaigners remained unresolved about what details Spotify has found on key labels, and whether (as many users suspect) Spotify should pay for playlists or preferential algorithmic treatment.
Many members of the music industry are left wondering if Spotify’s price increases have the potential to drop on musicians – or if it’s just Spotify’s own pockets.
Just received an email to notify me of a 20% price increase on my monthly @spotify subscription. I hope this is reflected in the 20% price increase for artists.April 26, 2021
In an even more bizarre way, Spotify’s price increase was announced as Daniel Ek, Spotify’s founder and CEO. ready to bid £ 1.8 million to manage the Arsenal football club.
Unsurprisingly, the news of this unreasonable offer, which coincides with rising user prices and increasing tensions over the fairness of payments made by Spotify to artists, has met with widespread frustration. Like Tim Burgess, the singer of the indie rock outfit The Charlatans, summed it up Tweet: “So many artists have to take another job, give up flats because they can’t pay their rent, but get a decent amount of plays on @spotify – but the owner still has enough offer for the Premier League team. I just don’t think it looks ethical.”
Some commentators have discussed the ethics of raising prices at all during a pandemic – especially given that Spotify is the value tripled during a pandemic, when streaming rates increased during lockout.
Spotify’s decision has been severely criticized Deezer Laurence Miall d’Aout, vice president, who told reporters: “We just wanted to let you know that Deezer isn’t going to raise prices in the midst of a pandemic. Music, podcasts and radio are helping people survive, and I don’t think it’s time to raise prices, we would give our users a 3-month booking to make sure it doesn’t come as a surprise. ”
However, it should be noted that Spotify’s prices have remained static for more than a decade and that other streaming services – including Netflix – have managed to raise prices during the pandemic for a fraction of the complaint caused by the Spotify hike. The issue is timing – and a significant price increase will be announced as Spotify overcomes many other controversies over its work practices and financial decisions.
What has Spotify said?
Not very much: “We offer a variety of subscription plans tailored to users’ needs, and we periodically update prices to meet local macroeconomic factors and market demands by providing an unparalleled service.”
The only time to show whether this price increase is part of Spotify’s broader strategy to make payments fairer to musicians. But given that Spotify has recently invested heavily in its podcasting features, including launch podcast subscription service to compete with Apple, it seems that music streaming is so far at the end of Spotify’s priority list.