Spotify Gives Music Fans Another Reason to Switch to Apple Music

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It was only two months ago that we heard reports that Spotify would be hiking its prices, and now those changes have arrived. The new rates make the popular streaming service one of the priciest ways to listen to music.

Spotify Premium subscribers in the US began receiving emails over the weekend letting them know that, depending on their plan, they’ll now be paying anywhere from $1 to $3 more per month.

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Specifically, the baseline Spotify Premium tier is going up to $11.99 per month, putting it a notch above the $10.99/month Apple Music plan. Meanwhile, the Duo plan, which allows streaming by two people in the same household, jumps from $14.99 to $16.99, matching Apple Music’s six-person Family Plan, while Spotify’s actual Family Plan has jumped from $16.99 to $19.99 per month.

Spotify’s justification for the price increases? In an email to customers, it says it’s raising prices so it “can continue to invest in and innovate on the product offerings and features, and bring you the best experience.”

Reasonable people can disagree on whether that’s true, but we think many Apple fans are probably getting tired of hearing about Spotify “innovations” that don’t include support for Apple devices and technologies. Spotify has been promising AirPlay 2 support since at least 2021 — and even that was only after hundreds of customers voiced their dissatisfaction with a 2021 community forum post where Spotify said it wasn’t coming “in the foreseeable future.”

To be fair, Spotify held out on its first-ever price increase for a bit longer than most of its competitors. Spotify and Apple Music both launched at the $9.99 monthly sweet spot for streaming music services. Even though Apple Music came on the scene four years later than Spotify, Apple announced its first price increases in 2022, starting with its student plants in July and later rolling that out to a $1 monthly increase for all individual subscribers and $2 per month for family subscribers.

Spotify didn’t make its move until July 2023, meaning that for about nine months, the cost of an Apple Music Individual plan was $1 per month more than Spotify. However, now the tables have turned, and it’s Spotify that’s leapfrogging Apple in pricing, and it’s doing it less than a year after its last price increase.

It’s also worth noting that Apple’s price increase for Apple Music was attributed to the increased music licensing costs, a reason that makes sense considering Apple puts more money into musicians’ pockets than its rivals and has often been praised by songwriters and music publishers — the same group that regularly criticizes Spotify for fighting against royalty increases.

Although Spotify is investing in some new features, there’s room for debate on how useful or desirable those are to its customers. The company has made a big push into both podcasts and audiobooks, and Spotify Premium currently offers 15 hours per month of audiobook listening.

When Bloomberg reported on the upcoming Spotify price increase in April, there was an indication that Spotify would offer a “basic” plan without audiobooks for the same $10.99 monthly cost that it previously charged for Premium. However, as of this writing, the new prices are live on Spotify’s page with no sign of any lower-tier plan.

Further, Spotify has yet to announce its much-rumored Spotify Lossless plan. That’s supposedly coming soon, but it’s also three years overdue and is expected to cost subscribers even more when it gets here.

By comparison, Apple Music still costs $10.99 monthly for an individual plan or $16.99 for a family plan, includes its entire catalog in lossless audio, and works great on Apple devices. You can also save even more if you opt to get it as part of an Apple One bundle, and while Spotify is working on AI-generated playlists, rumor has it that Apple is preparing to announce something similar in iOS 18 next week.

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