2024 Update: Spotify's Price Increase

May 6, 2024

In the wake of Deezer removing its free tier in many countries. TIDAL is also lowering its prices and combining the subscription options. Spotify is making a bold choice and increasing premium prices.

Once again, Spotify is raising the prices of its paid subscriptions. The increase is set to start in the UK, Pakistan, and Australia and eventually reach the US.

The planned increase is between $1 and $2 for the premium subscriptions. But it’s not all bad news. They are releasing a new tier, and you can finally get rid of audiobooks cluttering up your UI (if that is what you want).

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Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Why is Spotify increasing the price?

Most people who use Spotify do so for the music. But that has never stopped Spotify from adding new services - like audiobooks and podcasts.

The introduction of audiobooks on Spotify has been wildly successful. Initially, many subscribers found them an excellent free addition to the subscription.
Now, it appears it is time to pay the price (but don't worry too much yet).

Spotify is now the second biggest audiobook provider, so they aren't likely to take them off the platform. Instead, doubling down and this is one of the factors in the price increase.

Spotify has said that its price rise is due to the need to invest in new features, such as improvements to the service for both users and artists.

Love audiobooks? We have a list of our favorites: Best Audiobooks on Spotify.

But if you’re wondering, ‘Are there audiobooks on Spotify?’ then this is for you: Spotify’s free audiobooks.

Which subscriptions are affected?

The new, increased prices will apply to the Family Plan and the Individual plans. Right now, Student plans could remain locked at a lower cost.

Didn't Spotify already raise its price?

Yes, and it caused many paying subscribers to leave the service. The last Spotify price hike was less than a year ago and was between $1 and $2. However, there was a one-month grace period for users who had a subscription already while the increase rolled out.

Will Spotify get new features with the price increase?

It has been reported that with the price increase comes a new paid tier. The new tier is designed for those who don't want the audiobooks but enjoy the podcasts and the music. The Basic Plan is set to be $11 per month without audiobooks.

What if you want to leave Spotify?

The price increase might be a deal breaker (or you might be tired of waiting for Hi-Res music on Spotify), and if that is the case, you can leave Spotify and take your music with you using FreeYourMusic.

Many other music streaming services have better audio for a comparable (and sometimes cheaper) monthly cost. Looking only at price and audio quality, here are some great options:

Deezer subscription price and audio quality: Deezer is another popular music streaming service offering a monthly cost comparable to Spotify. Their subscription price starts at $9.99 per month, similar to Spotify's Individual plan, and they also have a family plan option available.

Deezer offers both Standard and Hi-Fi streaming options in terms of audio quality. Their Hi-Fi streaming is known for its high-quality audio, making it an excellent alternative for audiophiles who prioritize sound quality. Many consider Deezer to be the closest to Spotify for fun features but with the addition of lossless quality.

Amazon Music subscription price and audio quality: Amazon Music is another viable alternative to Spotify. They offer multiple subscription options, including Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Prime Music. Amazon Music Unlimited starts at $9.99 monthly for individuals and has a family plan option.

Amazon Music offers a range of options, including Standard, High-Definition, and Ultra-High-Definition streaming. Their Ultra HD streaming provides the highest-quality audio at 44.1 kHz (CD quality), making it an excellent choice for those who want the best listening experience.

Apple Music subscription price and audio quality: Apple Music is a well-known competitor to Spotify and offers a range of subscription options. Their plan starts at $9.99 per month, similar to Spotify's Individual plan, and they also have a family plan available.

In terms of audio quality, Apple Music offers high-quality streaming with AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) files at 256kbps. While less high-resolution than other options, it still provides a good listening experience for most users.

TIDAL subscription price and audio quality: TIDAL is a premium music streaming service focusing on high-quality audio. Their subscription prices start at $9.99 monthly for their Premium plan and $19.99 monthly for their HiFi plan.

TIDAL is committed to delivering lossless audio and providing a superior listening experience for those who prioritize audio quality. It also offers exclusive content and original videos, making it a unique option for music lovers.

Qobuz subscription price and audio quality: Qobuz is a high-fidelity music streaming service that offers the best possible audio quality to its subscribers. It offers multiple subscription options, including Studio Premier and Sublime+.

Studio Premier starts at $14.99 per month and offers unlimited access to its library of high-quality music. Sublime+ is their premium plan, priced at $249.99 per year, and includes additional benefits such as discounted downloads and exclusive deals on high-resolution music.

Deep-dive all of the high-res options and find your ideal audio match: Best Hi-Res Music Streaming Service.

Should you stay with Spotify?

The short answer is no if you want audio quality. But other things, like the ever-expanding audiobook library, the ease of switching between music, podcasts, audiobook content, and Wrapped, keep subscribers flocking to the service.

And there is always the option of downgrading to the free plan when the price hike occurs in your region.

But the other music streaming services on the market have a lot to offer, so it's time to try them out. Don't worry—you don't need to lose your music, though. You can transfer your entire music library with a FreeYourMusic basic plan or premium subscription.

Spotify's 2023 Price Increase

Spotify's recent decision to increase its subscription prices has left its user base in a state of disarray.

As the news of Spotify's first-ever price increase rippled through the music streaming community, users were left with a tough decision: whether to continue their subscription or explore other alternatives. And it appears that a considerable number of users have decided on the latter.

Transfer playlist services like FreeYourMusic have seen a surge in interest, indicating a potential exodus of disgruntled Spotify users.

The Price Increase Dilemma

Spotify's decision to raise its subscription prices for the first time since its inception in 2011 came as a surprise to many loyal subscribers. Subscribers will have to shell out an extra dollar per month, raising the ad-free version's cost to $10.99. The student plan and premium family plan are also experiencing a $1 hike, now costing $5.99 and $16.99 per month, respectively. However, the duo plan for two individuals living together sees the most significant increase, jumping $2 from $12.99 to $14.99 monthly.

With the premium version now costing $10.99 per month, and other plans also experiencing an incremental hike, users were left contemplating the value they receive from the service and whether it was worth the new cost.

Potential Impact on Users and Artists

On Monday, Spotify announced a price increase, claiming it was necessary "to help us continue to deliver value to fans and artists on our platform."

However, the news has left some users feeling frustrated, particularly those who were accustomed to the previous subscription rates. While there is hope that this additional revenue will lead to improved features, better user experiences, and a more extensive content library, the actual outcome remains uncertain. Furthermore, users are cautiously optimistic that the price hike will result in a fairer streaming royalties model for artists, but only time will tell if these expectations will be met.

Flood of Spotify Users Seeking Alternatives

Amidst the uncertainty and dissatisfaction over the price increase, users have been actively searching for alternatives to Spotify. The rise in costs has brought Spotify's subscription options on par with its arch-rival, Apple Music. This is clearly visible on transfer playlist services like FreeYourMusic. Most users transfer from Spotify to Apple Music, followed by transfers from Spotify to YouTube Music and Spotify to Amazon Music.

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In Search of the Best Value

Interestingly, as Spotify users explore their options, many seem to be more willing to pay for a playlist transfer service than to stick with the higher-priced Spotify subscription. This behavior suggests that users question the value they receive for their hard-earned money.

The influx of Spotify users to FreeYourMusic highlights a growing trend of consumers seeking the best value for their money in the ever-expanding music streaming landscape. With several platforms offering similar music catalogs and features, users are now reevaluating their streaming service choices, focusing on music quality and the overall user experience.

Rationale Behind the Price Increase

The decision to increase prices comes as Spotify experiences substantial growth, gaining five million new subscribers in the first quarter of this year, bringing its total to 210 million worldwide. However, despite exceeding its projected subscriber growth, the company's total revenue fell short of expectations, prompting the need to explore new avenues to boost its financial performance.

The music industry, including rightsholders, generally approves of the subscription cost increase as it aims to address inflationary pressures and the plateauing of paid subscription revenue since 2021. Several other major streaming services have already raised their prices, making Spotify one of the last to do so. With this new pricing strategy, Spotify aligns itself with YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, which have all raised their prices over the past year.

Consumer Reactions and Concerns

The price increase has sparked mixed reactions among Spotify's user base. Some subscribers are understanding of the company's need to generate more revenue, considering its growing infrastructure and licensing costs. Others, however, feel the price hike is unwarranted, especially with the competition offering similar services at the same cost.

Economic Constraints and Loyalty Testing

In the face of a global economic squeeze, subscribers are increasingly seeking ways to reduce costs. As consumers prioritize their expenses, they may question the necessity of retaining multiple subscriptions, potentially leading to some difficult choices. The price increase could act as a loyalty test for Spotify's user base, who will evaluate if the platform's services justify the cost.

Revenue Projections and Shareholder Satisfaction

With these price hikes, Spotify's average revenue per paying user (ARPU) is expected to move closer to the €5 mark from the reported €4.32 in Q1 2023. This could potentially generate around €1.05 billion in monthly revenue from its 210 million premium subscribers, which may please shareholders and boost the company's profitability.

Spotify's Stock Plunges Despite Subscriber Gains and Price Increase

Despite a recent price hike in its premium plan and an increase in paid subscribers, Spotify's stock experienced significant declines for the second consecutive day. The company reported staggering losses of roughly $330 million in the second quarter, disappointing investors and driving the stock to its lowest level since May. While Spotify highlighted its record growth in monthly active users and paid subscribers, investors remained focused on the company's financial performance. As the streaming market becomes increasingly competitive, investors are closely monitoring bottom-line results rather than subscriber growth. Spotify's stock has experienced a rollercoaster ride this year, with substantial gains followed by steep losses, reflecting the heightened market scrutiny on the music streaming service's financial health.

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Conclusion

Spotify's recent price increase has caused some subscribers to reevaluate their loyalty to the platform. While the company seeks to generate more revenue, support artists, and adapt to industry trends, users are contemplating the value they receive for their subscription costs. The surge in interest for transfer playlist services like FreeYourMusic is an indication that many users may be looking elsewhere for music streaming options.

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