Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Amazon follows Apple in increasing music streaming prices

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Music Unlimited plans will now cost $10.99 a month in the US, and £10.99 a month in the UK.

The price of Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service is increasing in the US and UK from February 21st. In support pages, which we spotted via Billboard, the company says US users will now pay $10.99 per month for a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited (up from $9.99 previously), while UK listeners will now pay £10.99 (up from £9.99). The discounted student rate is also increasing from $4.99 (£4.99) to $5.99 (£5.99).

According to data from market research firm Midia, Amazon Music had around 13.3 percent of the world’s music subscribers, behind Apple Music with 13.7 percent, and Spotify with 30.5 percent, as of mid-2022.

“To help us bring you even more content and features, we’re updating the prices of select Amazon Music Unlimited plans,” Amazon’s support page vaguely explains. But the price increase is in line with the one announced by competitor Apple last October, when it said it would increase the price of Apple Music from $9.99 to $10.99 a month. Spotify, meanwhile, still costs $9.99 a month as standard — a price that Billboard notes has remained consistent since its US launch in 2011.

Amazon Music Unlimited is currently the top subscription tier of the e-commerce giant’s music streaming service, offering unlimited access to 100 million songs in lossless CD-quality, and “millions” of songs in lossless hi-res. Amazon also offers a discounted Music Unlimited rate for Prime subscribers that now sits at $8.99 as of a price increase that went into effect last May. That’s separate from the “Amazon Music Prime” tier, which is included free with Prime subscriptions and offers ad-free listening but not lossless quality and only shuffled playback of albums, playlists, or artist discographies. There’s also an entirely free ad-supported tier.

Although Spotify hasn’t raised its prices in over a decade in the US, an increase might not be far away. In an earnings call last October, Billboard notes that CEO Daniel Ek indicated that raising US prices “is one of the things we would like to do.”

The price increase follows a large drop in Amazon’s share price, down from almost $170 last March to under $100 today. It’s currently in the midst of cost-cutting efforts including a massive round of layoffs that will affect around 18,000 of its staff, and recently announced plans to sunset its charity-donating AmazonSmile feature.

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