Technology

Spotify hikes prices in the UK and Europe as CEO haggles to buy football team

Spotify is raising its Premium subscription prices in the United Kingdom and Europe. Users will be looking at a £1-2 increase in the UK and a €1-3 hike in the EU. The rate change goes into effect on April 30 for new subscribers. Current Premium members won’t start paying more until their June billing cycle.

Some users on Twitter were upset at the price increase, but it should not have come as a surprise. Last month Digital Music News reported that Spotify tested the price hike waters in the UK with a survey indicating rates 15- to 33-percent higher than current subscriptions. However, many are more upset at the optics than the increase.

ESPN reports that Spotify owner and CEO Daniel Ek is in talks to buy North London football club Arsenal. Forbes values the team at $2.8 billion as of April 2021.

The rate increases apply to all Premium plans as follows:

Student—£5.99 (£1 increase)
Individual—£10.99 (£1 increase)
Duo—£13.99 (£1 increase)
Family—£16.99 (£2 increase)

The hikes for the EU are similar, except in some areas where the family plan will go from €14.99 to €17.99.

The rise in rates comes after Spotify predicted a “subscriber-growth plateau” in Q1 2021. Some users are upset about the price hike and whether any of the increase is going to the artists.

Whether the new rates are enough to drive subscribers to YouTube or Apple Music remains to be seen. In the UK, Apple Music will now be £1 cheaper for individuals and £2 less for the family plan. The same goes for YouTube Music. So it does seem to be a strange move for a service that is forecasting stagnant subscriber growth.

Although it has not hinted at raising prices in the US, it should probably be suspected. The UK and European countries often serve as a test bed for price hikes that eventually make across the pond.