YouTube has raised the price of YouTube Premium and YouTube Music subscriptions 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 has quietly raised the price of YouTube Premium to $13.99 per month, up two dollars from the previous $11.99 per month. An annual subscription now costs $139.99up $20.
YouTube Music, which is part of Premium but can be purchased as a standalone subscription, grew by a dollar to $10.99 per month.
As YouTube has not officially announced the price increase, it is unclear whether the new prices will apply only to new subscribers or also to existing customers.
According to 9to5Google, which reported for the first time on the price hike, YouTube at least for now is honoring the $9.99 monthly price for Premium subscribers who signed up before the previous price hike in 2018.
YouTube Premium and Music pricing outside the US appears to have been unaffected as of Thursday (July 20).
YouTube’s move is the latest in what appears to be a trend of accelerating price increases among streaming services, both video and audio. The service has increased the US monthly price of its Premium Family plan to $22.99 last October, a price increase of five dollars.
Many analysts and industry watchers have pointed out that “family” streaming plans, on YouTube and elsewhere, have lower average revenue per user (ARPU) than individual subscriptions, which has become a cause for concern, especially for music industry leaders, who are increasingly vocal about what they say is the continued underpricing of music in the streaming world.
In January, Amazon Music increased its standard individual monthly subscription price to Amazon Music Unlimited by $9.99 For $10.99 in the United States, and £9.99 For £10.99 UK. The previous spring, Amazon raised the discounted price of a Music Unlimited monthly plan for Prime subscribers, from $7.99 For $8.99with price increases in the UK and Canada as well.
Last October, Apple increased its subscription price for Apple TV+, Apple One, and Apple Music worldwide, with the US price rising from $9.99 For $10.99 per month.
Music streaming service Tidal also quietly raised prices earlier this month, with its Premium subscription tier now costing £11.99 per month in UK, EUR €10.99 per month in major European markets such as Germany, and $10.99 per month in the United States.
But of course, one name in streaming is conspicuous by its absence: Spotify. The price of the service for an individual Premium subscription remained at $9.99 in the USA, £9.99 in the UK and €9.99 in major Western European markets since the service was launched more than a decade ago.
This is despite several years of high 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 charge.
Industry leaders such as Sony Music Chairman Rob Stringer and Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl noted that music streaming prices are much lower than video streaming prices.
Even some streaming service executives, like Tidal CEO Jesse Dorogusker, have recently claimed that music is “undervalued and undervalued.”
Spotify isn’t totally blind to the pressure it’s under. Co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek indicated last October that the company was considering price increases following increases at Apple and YouTube.
“When our competitors raise their prices, that’s really good for us because, again, with our deep engagement that we have and the lowest churn rate of any competitor, we’ll likely do better” after a price increase, Ek said on the company’s Q3 2022 earnings call.
However, in the nine months since, Spotify’s only move towards higher prices has been the announcement of its intention to launch a new, more expensive “Supremium” service tier, which will include benefits such as HiFi audio quality and expanded access to audiobooks.The music industry around the world