Spotify Is Raising Prices And Users Are Furious

By Phillip Moyer | Published

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Everything’s getting more expensive these days, and nobody likes it. From groceries to streaming subscriptions, the last year of inflation has forced companies around the world to increase prices (or that’s their excuse, anyways). Never one to buck a trend, Spotify has announced that they are increasing the cost of its subscription service — and its users and artists aren’t having it.

Spotify is increasing the price of every subscription plan by at least $1, effective immediately.

Starting today, the price of a Premium Individual Spotify account has increased from $9.99 to $10.99 — a $1 per month increase. The price of a two-person Premium Duo account increased by $2 (from $12.99 to $14.99), while a six-person Premium Family account just increased by $1 (from $15.99 to $16.99). The Premium Student Plan, which used to be $4.99, has also increased its price by $1 to $5.99.

The press release hosted on Spotify’s website does its best to soften the blow. The company spends the first paragraph and a half singing its own praises, talking about how they have created new discovery tools, added audiobooks and podcasts, and has become the most popular music streaming service. 

Spotify eventually mentions the price changes midway through the second paragraph of the press release. Spotify never outright admits that they’re increasing the prices, however. The company says it is “adjusting” and “changing” the prices — the older, cheaper prices are never mentioned.

Spotify blames its “new prices” on the fact that “the marketing landscape continues to evolve.” The company claims that it needs the increase so that it can “keep innovating” and “continue to deliver value to fans and artists.” Spotify gave no further details about why the price hike is needed or how they plan to innovate. 

Recording artists are complaining that Spotify is increasing prices for users but not increasing the royalty rates.

The price hike will affect users in over 50 countries across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. However, this doesn’t include all the countries that Spotify services, which has given some users ideas about how to get around the new price increase.

The Spotify price hike is just the latest in a slew of price increases by online streaming services. This year alone, sites including YouTube, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max have all raised their prices. Netflix and Disney+ both increased their prices in 2022.

There’s a (very small) silver lining for people who are already subscribed to Spotify. According to the company, existing subscribers will get a “one-month grace period” where they pay the old price rather than the new one. This includes people using a trial subscription — their first month of Spotify Premium will be at the old prices before they have to pay the increased amount.

Spotify offers a free ad-supported tier, but it lacks most of the basic functionality found with a paid subscription.

If you don’t want to pay the new price, Spotify’s FAQ offers three alternatives: see if you qualify for a lower-priced plan such as the student plan, use the free ad-supported service, or just leave. Spotify no doubt hopes that very few people will choose that third option. While there is no doubt some people will leave the service, Spotify’s new price is the same as competing services such as Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, so there aren’t really any greener pastures to leave for.