In the last week, Apple has released a mix of good news and bad news. On the positive side, Apple Fitness+ will now be available to iPhone users in 21 countries, and iPadOS 16 and macOS Venture are now available. On the not-so-positive side, Apple has increased the price for their streaming TV and music subscription services, reports CNN, making them the latest streaming company to boost prices.
Apple Music subscribers will now pay $10.99 a month, a $1 a month increase, for individual subscribers. Subscribers to the Apple Music family plan, which is available for up to five people in a family, will increase to $16.99 a month, a $2 a month increase. Apple TV+ subscribers will see an increase of $2 a month, going from $4.99 a month to $6.99 a month.
Apple told CNN in a statement that they are increasing the price for Apple Music because licensing has gotten more expensive, and artists and songwriters want to be paid more for streaming their work. Apple TV+ has held steady with its introductory pricing until now. Apple said they started with a small streaming catalog, but now that their content library has expanded, so have their costs. In addition, they featured award-winning shows including Ted Lasso and CODA.
Other streaming subscription price hikes
Apple is just the latest streaming company to raise their prices. In an interview, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said that subscribers in the U.S. will see price increases in 2023. The premium streaming audio service has been priced at $9.99 per year since 2011, reports the Wall Street Journal, and the company has already been successful with price increases in other markets. With Apple bumping up $1, or a 10% increase, it seems likely that Spotify will match that.
Compared to other streaming video services, Apple TV+ will still be among the lowest priced services, even at $6.99 a month. For example, in January 2022, Netflix raised their subscription prices in the U.S. and Canada from $1 to $2 a month, depending on the plan. Netflix’s current pricing is based on the plan. Their Basic with Ads plan, available next week, is $6.99 a month, Basic is $9.99 a month, Standard is $15.49 a month, and Premium is $19.99 a month.
YouTube just increased the price for their premium family plan. How much it will cost depends on where you live. In the U.S., for example, the premium family plan increases from $17.99 a month to $22.99 a month, says TechCrunch. And, of course, Disney+ and Hulu have also raised their prices this year. Disney+ jumped from $7.99 to $10.99 a month, reports The Verge. The ad-free tier for Hulu goes from $12.99 a month to $14.99, and the ad-supported version jumps from $6.99 to $7.99 a month.
Prices are rising on everything from eggs and gas to subscription streaming services and food delivery. As their audiences grow, streaming subscription services like Apple have to grow their infrastructure to support their operations and continue to add content, which can be pricy. These price increases are not a surprise, and for most consumers, are not dealbreakers. Price-sensitive subscribers may drop down to ad-supported versions of their favorite streaming music and video services, but we don’t see a mass exodus in subscribers.