Spotify just raised its Premium prices, and people aren't happy

Spotify Apple Music S21 Ultra Z Fold
Spotify Apple Music S21 Ultra Z Fold (Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Spotify prices are going up by 20% this month.
  • The company is raising prices on its Student, Duo, and Family plans today.
  • A later price increase is expected to push up its Premium Individual plans.

Spotify today announced price hikes for Premium customers worldwide this morning. As per TechRadar, the company detailed these increases in an email sent around to customers this morning. Subscribers to Premium Student will see their payments being raised from £4.99 to £5.99, Premium Duo will see theirs going from £12.99 to £13.99, and Premium Family going from £14.99 to £16.99. Android Police reports that a price rise of £1 to the Premium Individual plan is also being considered, though the company has yet to announce that. Subscribers in the U.S. will see a similar increase, with the family plan going to $15.99 a month. The price increase will come into effect from April 30, 2021. Existing customers will keep their pricing till June, however.

Reactions to the price increase are as expected, with many customers expressing their disdain for the concept. Others have expressed concerns with Spotify's payouts to artists and the value Spotify as a service holds compared to competing services from Apple and Google, which push music as a part of an all-encompassing subscription rather than a whole.

It's one thing for Spotify to be on parity with its rivals with pricing, making comparing features with YouTube Music or Amazon Music or whatever the only consideration. It's another thing entirely for the price increase to put it within striking range of platforms that offer a lot more than music. Take YouTube, its music app can be said to be "Good" at best, but the value proposition of the YouTube Premium subscription is incredible. You get ad-free YouTube access, downloads, YouTube Music Premium, early entry into YouTube tests, and free YouTube memberships for a selection of channels — all for £11.99. If rumors are to be believed, Spotify's new Individual plan will offer less than that for just £1 less. Spotify may have a lot of playlists built for you, but so does Google. When it comes to comparing the family plans, the value gap is even more pronounced — you get all of YouTube Premium for £14.99 between 6 people. Spotify? That'll cost you £16.99 for the music alone. When we start thinking about Amazon Prime Music or Apple One, a Spotify subscription becomes hard to justify.

Spotify clearly believes it has something that these companies don't, enough to justify costing more than them. The only real question is whether consumers will believe the same. With competing services shipping in Android phones and iPhones out of the box, switching may really just become a case of inertia.

Will you be sticking to Spotify despite these price changes? Let us know in the comment below.

Michael Allison