Ever since streaming music began there’s been one constant, the price for a monthly subscription to a streaming music service was always $9.99 per month. That price could be fudged a little when a streaming package was mixed in a bundle or with a family plan, but the basic price hasn’t changed, even with inflation knocking on everyone’s door. Now comes word that Amazon will raise its price on Amazon Music, which makes you wonder whether this is the start of a round of price hikes from every streaming service.
Amazon announced that it’s increasing the prices of two of its streaming music plans in multiple markets on May 5th. This basically applies to those who are Amazon Prime members, who now pay $7.99 for their Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan. That price will now be going up to $8.99. Prime members on the annual subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited will now pay $89 per year, up from $79 per year.
Amazon is raising the price of its Amazon Music Single-Device Plan, which gives Echo and Fire TV owners the ability to access the full Amazon Music Unlimited service. It will be increased from $3.99 to $4.99.
The increase is only for the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
A point that may be overlooked is that the price of Amazon Music Unlimited for customers without an Amazon Prime membership will remain unchanged at $9.99.
What Might Happen
What I expect to happen is that Spotify, Apple Music and all the other streaming services will now institute their own price hikes on every plan but the individual plan. There’s some speculation that the major labels have specified in their licensing agreements that the service’s individual plans can only be priced at $9.99. If that’s true, the streaming networks are limited in how much they can charge for that program, but the labels may be open to a change since people are getting used to paying more for almost everything and $9.99 may no longer be a price barrier.
What could happen is that all the streaming services would more or less raise their prices at the same time. The reason being that music is now a commodity and it’s the same on every platform. What you pay for is the user experience, but that’s not much different either. A service that has even a $1 per month cheaper rate will gain more users, which is why they all want to stay at the same price.
This should be interesting to watch. Although not great for the pocketbook of the consumer, it will mean more money to be divided amongst the music industry players, including artists and songwriters. That’s never a bad thing.