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Amazon follows Apple’s lead with 9.99 to 10.99 price increase on Music Unlimited

By | Published on Friday 20 January 2023


Amazon is increasing the baseline price of its music streaming service in the UK and US, following Apple’s lead. From next month that baseline price will increase from 9.99 to 10.99.

An update to Amazon’s FAQs web page says: “To help us bring you even more content and features, we’re updating the prices of select Amazon Music Unlimited plans. The updated pricing starts on 21 Feb 2023. You will begin seeing the new price on your first bill after that date”.

Apple Music instigated a similar increase last year, making price rises across the music streaming sector much more likely.

The music industry, of course, has been pushing for a price increase for years, given streaming is a revenue share business, so subscription prices have a direct impact on the streaming monies received by record labels and music publishers, and therefore artists and songwriters.

9.99 has been the baseline price of subscription streaming in the big dollar/pound/euro markets since Spotify first launched in the 2000s. Because of inflation that means the real cost of subscribing to a streaming service has been declining each year.

Most streaming services have instigated some price rises in recent years, though usually in relation to discount or bundle packages. Last year Amazon increased the price of its family plan and the discounted version of Music Unlimited available to members of its Prime scheme.

However, the uplift in baseline price in the mature music markets is still significant, as traditionally all other pricing – including discounts, bundles and pricing in emerging markets – is set in relation to the baseline in places like the US, UK and other big European markets.

There were various reasons why the big music services were nervous about increasing the baseline price, despite there having been several price increases over the years on video services like Netflix. However, now the baseline has increased once, there will probably be future increases on a semi-regular basis in line with inflation.

Spotify seems likely to follow Apple and Amazon on this. After Apple announced it’s increases last year, Spotify boss Daniel Ek told his investors: “When our competitors are raising their prices, that is really good for us”.

He added that an increase of the baseline price in a market like the US “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”.