Music Industry

Apple Music raised prices on Monday. Spotify is probably next.

On Monday, the cost of a subscription to Apple Music went from $9.99 to $10.99 in Canada. The price also went up in territories around the world (US$9.99 to US$10.99, €9.99 to 10.99, £9.99 to £10.99, etc.) As soon as that happened, people began wondering if Spotify would follow. The answer seems to be “yes.”

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said this: “When our competitors are raising their prices, that is really good for us” and that a price increase “is one of the things we would like to do and it’s something we will [review] with our label partners. I feel good about this upcoming year, and what it means about pricing for our service”.

Ek also announced that Spotify added seven million new paid subscribers in the last quarter, one million ahead of projections. Spotify has added 15 million new subs since the end of last year, bringing the number of paying customers 195 million globally. On this current vector, that number will easily pass 200 million by the end of the year.

If we add in those who use the free tier, we’re talking 456 million MAUs (month average users) worldwide, 23 million more than the last quarter. Credit growth in India and Latin America for much of the increase. About 26% of users are outside of North America, Europe, and Latin America. Revenue was up 21% year-over-year, too. Yet operating losses continue to pile up (-€228 million. Yikes.)

What about competition from TikToK? Ek says “We have been in markets with Resso [TikTok’s streaming service in India, Indonesia and Brazil] for quite some time, and we’ve seen considerable growth in those markets. When they’ve taken share, they haven’t taken share from us. It’s been from others. We keep watching it, however.”

And what did Ek have to say about the whole Kanye West controversy? Is the platform going to drop his music?

Nope. While Ek condemned Kanye’s comments, Spotify will keep offering Ye’s music. Ek made the point that there’s nothing about Ye’s songs that violate any of Spotify’s policies, lyrically or otherwise so there’s no real justification under Spotify rules to get rid of it. Kanye’s conduct is another matter. (Remember the blowback Spotify got when it dropped music by R Kelly and XXXTentacion?)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38443 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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