If you’re like my friends, you love Spotify. You can’t get enough of its endless supply of tunes, handcrafted playlists that are perfect for every mood, informative and entertaining podcasts, and videos that make you feel like you’re right there at the concert… from the comfort of your own toilet.
And the price? Come on, it’s a steal! Just ten bucks a month for ad-free, unlimited streaming. It’s so cheap, you could buy a whole two drinks at Starbucks with the money you save. What’s not to love?
Well, apparently, Spotify’s competitors are not as enamored as we are. Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and YouTube Music have all jacked up their prices in the U.S. recently, making their individual plans pricier than Spotify’s. They claim to offer better audio quality, exclusive content, and more features than Spotify. They also claim to pay more royalties to artists and songwriters than Spotify does. Yadda yadda yadda.
But here’s the thing: record labels aren’t happy with Spotify either. They think that Spotify isn’t valuing their music enough and is underpaying them for their content. They also think that Spotify is raking in too much profit from their music without investing enough in developing new talent or promoting existing artists. It’s not like the music industry isn’t rife with exploitation and underpayment. But maybe the label heads aren’t aware that Spotify hasn’t show a profit since its inception in 2006.
So why hasn’t Spotify followed suit and raised its prices too? Is it because it’s too nice? Too generous? Too afraid? Or too smart? Here are some theories why Spotify is sticking to its $9.99 per month plan (for now):
Firstly, Spotify knows it’s not the only game in town. It has to compete with Apple Music and Amazon Music, who have huge advantages over Spotify: more money, more users, and more devices. They can afford to raise their prices because they can lure users with their other products and services. Spotify doesn’t have any of those things. It only has music (and podcasts and videos). If Spotify raises its prices too high or too soon, it may lose users to its rivals who offer more bang for the buck.
Secondly, Spotify knows it has loyal users who have been with the service for years. Some of them have built up huge collections of albums and playlists that they don’t want to lose or transfer to another service. Spotify doesn’t want to alienate these users by raising its prices and making them feel betrayed or unappreciated.
Thirdly, Spotify has music discovery features that other streaming services don’t have. It uses algorithms, data, and human curation to create personalized playlists, such as Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mixes. It also offers podcasts, videos, and social sharing features that enhance the listening experience and connect users with each other and with their favorite artists. Spotify thinks that these features make its service unique and valuable, and that users will stick with it even if other services offer higher audio quality or more exclusive content.
Finally, Spotify has big plans for the future. It wants to be an audio platform that offers everything from music to podcasts to audiobooks to live events. It also wants to launch new products and features that will make its service more appealing and engaging for users. For example, it is working on a high-fidelity tier that will offer lossless CD-quality streaming for audiophiles. It is also experimenting with new formats and genres, such as video podcasts, comedy shows, and original content. Spotify may be waiting for the right time and conditions to raise its prices, such as when it has more leverage with the major record labels, when it launches new products or features, or when it sees more demand from users.
So there you have it, folks. Spotify won’t raise its prices because it’s too busy being the nice guy, keeping its loyal users happy, using algorithms to do its job for it, and dreaming of a future where it can sell you anything audio-related, from audiobooks to live events to your own personal concert in your living room. Meanwhile, the record labels can continue to grumble about Spotify’s lack of investment in new talent, all while raking in the cash from the millions of streams their artists get on the platform. But who needs them, anyway? As long as we can keep streaming our favorite songs for a mere ten bucks a month, we’ll be happy. Right?
Rock on, Spotify.