Now YouTube Music has raised its monthly price in the US. Is Spotify next?

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YouTube has hiked the subscription price for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music for US customers – a move that will no doubt put pressure on streaming giant Spotify to do the same.

According to multiple news sources, the video streaming service quietly hiked the price of YouTube Premium to USD $13.99 per month, up by two dollars from the previous $11.99 per month. An annual subscription now costs $139.99, up by $20.

YouTube Music, which is part of Premium but can be purchased as a standalone subscription, has risen by one dollar to $10.99 per month.

As YouTube hasn’t officially announced the price hike, it’s unclear whether the new prices will apply only to new subscribers, or to existing customers as well.

According to 9to5Google, which first reported on the price hike, YouTube at least for now is honoring the $9.99 monthly price for Premium subscribers who signed up prior to the previous price hike in 2018.

YouTube Premium and Music prices outside the US don’t appear to have been affected as of Thursday (July 20).

YouTube’s move is the latest in what appears to be an accelerating trend of price hikes among streaming services, both video and audio. The service raised the monthly US price for its Premium Family package to $22.99 last October, a five-dollar price increase.

Many analysts and industry observers have pointed out that “family” streaming plans, at YouTube and elsewhere, have a lower average revenue per user (ARPU) than individual subscriptions, something that has become a source of concern, especially for music industry leaders, who have become increasingly vocal about what they say is the continuing underpricing of music in the streaming world.

Amazon Music in January raised its standard individual Amazon Music Unlimited monthly subscription price from $9.99 to $10.99 in the US, and from £9.99 to £10.99 in the UK. The previous spring, Amazon hiked the discounted price of a Music Unlimited monthly plan for Prime subscribers, from $7.99 to $8.99, with price hikes in the UK and Canada as well.

Last October, Apple raised its subscription price for Apple TV+, Apple One and Apple Music worldwide, with the US price rising from $9.99 to $10.99 per month.

Music streaming service Tidal also quietly raised its prices earlier this month, with its Premium subscription tier now costing £11.99 per month in the UK, EUR €10.99 per month in key European markets like Germany, and $10.99 per month in the US.

But of course, one name in streaming is conspicuous by its absence: Spotify. The service’s price for an individual Premium subscription has remained at $9.99 in the US, £9.99 in the UK and €9.99 in core Western European markets since the service launched more than a decade ago.

That’s despite several years of elevated inflation in many major markets including the US, UK and Western Europe, and growing pressure from the music industry for Spotify to adjust its prices closer to what other streaming services are charging.

Such industry leaders as Sony Music Chairman Rob Stringer and Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl have noted that music streaming prices are much lower than video streaming prices.

Even some streaming service execs, like Tidal CEO Jesse Dorogusker, have recently argued that music is “undervalued and underpriced.”

Spotify isn’t entirely blind to the pressure it’s under. Co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek indicated last October that the company is considering price hikes following the increases at Apple and YouTube.

“When our competitors are increasing their prices, that’s really good for us because, again, with our deep engagement that we have and the lowest churn of any competitor, we will likely fare better” after a price increase, Ek said during the company’s Q3 2022 earnings call.

However, in the nine months since then, Spotify’s one move towards higher prices was the announcement of plans to launch a new, pricier “Supremium” service tier, which will include such perks as HiFi audio quality and expanded access to audiobooks.Music Business Worldwide

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