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Spotify raises prices by up to $3 as frustrated subscribers plead with it to ‘just play the music’

Spotify raises prices by up to $3 as frustrated subscribers plead with it to ‘just play the music’

After keeping Spotify Premium subscription prices constant since its debut in 2011, Spotify today announced a monthly price increase in July 2023 and will do so again in July 2024.

Individual monthly subscriptions will rise from $11 per month to $12 per month. Family plans, which support up to six members, will range in price from $17 per month to $20 per month. Binary plans for two accounts go from $15 per month to $17 per month. Spotify has not announced pricing changes for students ($6 per month) or free plans.

Spotify said it is raising prices so it can “continue investing in and innovating in our product features and delivering the best user experience.”

It said it would send a direct email to subscribers “over the next month” about the changes. The message that Spotify said it would send to subscribers will include a link to the account page, where subscribers can cancel their subscription if they wish, as well as a support site to ask questions.

“Just make music”

Spotify has gone 12 years without changing subscription prices, but is now doing so for the second time in about a year.

In July 2023, the monthly price of the Spotify Premium plan for individual users has increased from $10 to $11. The price for duos has increased from $13 to $15, and family and student plans have increased by $1 per month. However, these sweeping price changes occurred at a time when competitors, such as Tidal, were making similar changes. As Spotify’s first-ever price increase, it seemed more digestible.

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The second price hike comes as Spotify seeks to achieve profitability for its first year. These efforts have included attempts to diversify revenue by expanding from Spotify’s traditional music streaming service to include things like podcasts, which Spotify has reportedly invested in. More than $1 billion In,Audiobooks,A Latest works For Spotify that you feed with Acquisition of Findaway for $123 million. Meanwhile, Spotify has been adding high-resolution audio to its service since 2021.

Some subscribers prefer to see predictable prices rather than new endeavors. For example, a user flagged by “ccolburn” in Spotify’s online forum reacted to this news with a post titled “I just want music! Stop increasing prices to justify adding things I don’t want!“:

I don’t want podcasts in my music app. …I don’t want audiobooks when I want music. I also don’t want to pay more for the same service. Just make music!!!! [sic]

Obvious subscribers were involved Similar feelings Elsewhere online, like Reddit, where “crazytalk151” Recently written:

Can you just play music and stop all the other nonsense? No, I don’t want your podcasts or audiobooks. Just music and the same price. What is the best alternative? [sic]

tightrope

But as is the case with many subscription price hikes among streaming services, Spotify’s increased prices are tied to profitability goals. Despite having profitable quarters, the 18-year-old company has not posted a profitable year.

In its Q1 2024 earnings report shared on April 23, Spotify posted its highest quarterly earnings ever, at €1 billion (about $1.08 billion). The company notes that price increases help boost the average revenue it sees per user. However, Spotify’s total number of monthly active users fell 3 million short of its target of 618 million users. The report also continued about 1,500 layoffs In December 2023.

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During Spotify’s Q1 2024 earnings call, Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek called 2024 a “monetization year” for Spotify and said the company will focus on “strong revenue growth and margin expansion” with “ambitious plans.” Ek did not announce pricing changes at the time, but noted that Spotify often reviews the “value-to-price” ratio when it comes to subscription prices, as diverse reported at the time.

Spotify shares opened up 5.5 percent amid news of rising subscription prices. The Wall Street Journal I reported today. However, subscribers are generally increasing Tired of ever-increasing subscription priceswill likely be less impressed by the news.

The announcement of the pricing changes follows Spotify’s recent decision in December last year to ban its Car Thing devices after they were released to the general public in February 2022. Spotify has given some users refunds if they can provide proof of purchase. However, some users online have reported issues with chargebacks due to things like linking devices to a third-party or unknown account, people owning multiple devices, or people reportedly getting Spotify Premium credits initially instead. Spotify has previously declined to specify to Ars Technica the exact criteria required to receive a full refund on Car Thing.

As Spotify tries to push toward profitability by raising prices, adding new endeavors, and distancing itself from old ones, it’s walking a tightrope in maintaining the kind of customer satisfaction and trust that will keep people subscribed.