After predicting that Q1 2021 would deliver limited subscriber gains, Spotify is exploring the possibility of raising prices for UK-based subscribers, a new survey has revealed.
The Guardian reporter Alex Hern recently posted screenshots of the price-raise questionnaire that the Stockholm-based platform has made available to users (through the Spotify app). “You will now be presented 5 different scenarios including different Spotify plans with varying prices, number of accounts and what’s included,” the survey reads.
The existing ad-supported option is the first of these featured “scenarios,” followed by the current family plan, which encompasses up to six premium accounts “for family members living under one roof.” Presently available for $20.88 per month (£14.99), the latter would cost $27.84 (£19.99) if the suggested price increase goes into effect.
Duo subscriptions, which Spotify rolled out in July of 2020, would jump in price from $18.09 (£12.99) to $20.88 (£14.99) if the raise is implemented, with individuals paying a pound more ($15.30/£10.99) per month.
Interestingly, the UK price-hike pilot program arrives just weeks after Spotify CEO Daniel Ek signaled that his company didn’t intend to raise subscription costs for stateside listeners in the near future. Explaining the continued reluctance to increase domestic pricing – multiple investors have called on Spotify to join Netflix and other subscription-based content platforms in doing so – Ek said that he didn’t want to compromise the service’s solid growth rate in certain parts of the country.
Evidently, however, Spotify isn’t quite as hesitant to up its monthly charges in other nations – a point of particular importance as the platform looks to heighten revenues amid the aforementioned potential plateau in new users. Plus, in an effort to offset the many millions it’s spent on podcasting, Spotify has started targeting even premium users with adverts.
In terms of the possible new-subscriber falloff, though, Spotify specified in its Q4 2020 earnings report that despite adding 11 million paid subscribers in 2020’s final three months, it expected to have between 155 million and 158 million premium accounts at Q1 2021’s end. The former figure is the same as the number of paid users that Spotify boasted as of December 31st, 2020.
Building upon the point, the cautious user-growth projection arrived even as Spotify debuted in South Korea – without a free tier, presumably guaranteeing solid subscriber gains in the nation of 52 million – and some 80 additional markets yet.
But competition in the latter states has quietly ramped up as of late, as regional players including Anghami (the Middle East’s largest streaming service) and Boomplay (the leading streaming platform in Africa) have taken steps to bolster their already-strong market presences. Deezer, for its part, has substantially reduced the cost of subscriptions for residents of Kenya and Nigeria, which are home to a combined total of approximately 250 million persons.