On July 24, Spotify announced it will be raising the price of its student payment plan from $4.99 to $5.99 a month.
According to the announcement, the market for music streaming has evolved since its initial launch. The price increase “will help us continue to deliver value to fans and artists on our platform,” according to Spotify. The service stated that more than 200 million premium subscribers in 53 different countries will be affected by the price increase.
Spotify includes several additional payment options including a free tier supported by ads, a monthly individual plan for $10.99, a monthly duo plan for $14.99, and a monthly family plan for $16.99. While the price increase for each tier is only an additional dollar, it reflects a trend happening around different entertainment options.
In an email sent to users on July 17, the video streaming service Peacock announced that its monthly premium plan would increase from $4.99 to $5.99 per month. A student option was recently made available for $1.99 per month.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, said in their Q2 FY23 Earnings Result Webcast that Disney plans “to set a higher price for our ad-free tier later this year to better reflect the value of our content offerings.”
As of right now, its ad-supported tier pricing costs $7.99 per month while its ad-free tier costs $10.99 per month.
Plans for Paramount+ increased from $4.99 to $5.99 per month starting July 27, depending on subscriber’s billing cycle. Students can receive a 25% discount off the new price.
BYU student Talmage Gerr was notified of the price change when he first opened the app. He said no reason was given for the price increase and there were no prior emails before the change.
“You’re not any better, you’re not any worse, you’re still providing the same service, and I’m still a student,” Gerr said.
Gerr said that if he wasn’t a student, then he wouldn’t want to pay for the increased Spotify price. He uses a number of different streaming services for other media, including Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime, Starz, Freevee and Apple TV. In spite of the variety of options available, Gerr said that balancing so many different subscriptions is “a headache.”
BYU student Porter Bennion uses the free version of Spotify that includes ads for listeners. He said he does not listen to music enough to justify the premium purchase, and does not care about the ads. He said it makes sense for prices to increase due to inflation.
“We’ve got inflation and things are raising in prices,” Bennion said. “It makes sense for streaming services to do that.”
Bennion uses family plans for Disney+, Netflix, Max and Apple TV. He said he does not plan on purchasing any streaming service subscriptions for himself at this time.
BYU student Madison Hubert said she misses “quality content” in streaming services. She does not believe the price increases are worth it. Her family uses several different streaming services and music platforms, including Spotify, Audible, Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime and Crunchyroll.
“In my opinion, there is so much content out there, it’s not worth continuing to keep the subscription that’s just pulling money out of my bank account,” Hubert said.
Hubert and her siblings each pay for a subscription, then share the accounts with each other. If she had to pick two services to keep, she said she would keep either Disney+ or Max and keep Spotify.
“I would definitely keep my music streaming app over any other type of media,” Hubert said. “I really don’t like ads in my listening.”
As prices increase across the different entertainment platforms, students may need to make the choice between keeping their premium subscriptions or downgrading to ad-supported tiers.