“I think we are ready to raise prices, I think we have the ability to do that, but it really comes down to those negotiations,” said Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek on Tuesday, April 25.
“We did raise prices in 46 different locations and markets last year, and even in those markets, were still outperforming. I feel really good about our ability to raise prices over time — that we have that ability — and we have lots of data now that backs that up.”
Ek said the streaming service was working with its label partners on the price rise, still determining how much and when it’ll be. In an October 2022 Spotify earnings call, he’d said a US price rise was “one of the things that we would like to do”, so this week’s news of a hike in the works isn’t surprising.
Currently, Spotify is actually the least expensive option among the most popular streaming music services in the US, including Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and Tidal, according to TechRadar. Though, that’s not the case in Aus, with Apple Music costing $10.99 a month and Amazon Music $11.99. Tidal is more expensive at $14.99 a month.
“There are reasons that make the service a bad value even at its current price,” reports the publication. “The main one is the company’s continued use of lossy compression for streaming, a technical shortcoming that places serious limitations on audio quality. In contrast, Spotify’s main competitors all provide Lossless CD-quality streaming, and each also offers tracks and albums at High-Res and Spatial Audio formats.”
TechRadar also criticises Spotify’s recent switch to a TikTok-style user interface, writing that the change is over-the-top and far from the service’s core mission of letting users build and browse a digital music library.
So, if you are looking to move on from Spotify, what are the best alternatives? Note that many of these offer free trials, so it might be at least worth testing them out to hear the often-better sound quality.
Tidal prides itself on its sound quality, loss-free, and with its Tidal HiFi Plus an option for top-class sound. It’s also got a great recommendation algorithm and lots of background information about the music.
Apple Music launched a year before Spotify, in 2005, and right now, they both share the same price for an individual subscription. It’s got exclusive content, an extensive audio range and several curated playlists.
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music by the e-tailer giant has an extensive music catalogue with tracks that have both lossless, high-res, and spatial audio. Amazon Prime members get a discount when subscribing to the service, making it one of the best value streaming options.
Compared to Spotify and Apple Music, French streaming service Deezer is relatively small. It’s got loss-less music, as well as podcasts, audiobooks and radio play. It doesn’t have much exclusive content, though.
While YouTube Music doesn’t offer audio in high-res, it does provide a great connection between audio and video (including exclusive artist live performances), and, if you’re already subscribing to YouTube Premium has good value for money.