Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has seemingly doubled down on existing plans for a Spotify price increase in the U.S. and potentially elsewhere – albeit while noting that label negotiations and other factors will impact the increase’s timing.
Ek broached the subject (and additional interesting topics) during Spotify’s first-quarter earnings call. Platforms including Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Deezer now charge $10.99 per month for individual plans in the States, whereas Tidal and Spotify have thus far maintained the longstanding $9.99 price point.
Nevertheless, Spotify has for some years been experimenting with modest price increases, including for several plans in Europe and a smaller group of subscription tiers in the U.S. Meanwhile, Ek in October of 2022 appeared to signal that 2023 would bring the long-anticipated domestic price bump for solo subscribers.
Now, as highlighted at the outset, the 40-year-old has once again indicated that he intends to up pricing – while simultaneously emphasizing that the decision “really comes down to those negotiations” with the Big Three.
“As I mentioned in my prior response, we raised prices in 46 places last year,” Ek relayed when answering one of a few pricing-related questions. “I would like and hope for us to do that in 2023 as well, but we’re in discussion with our partners around that. So that’s really a negotiation thing.”
“It’s a whole sort of set of discussions,” the Stockholm native later elaborated, “and there’s a number of different variables that go into them. And again, I think we’re ready to raise prices. I think we have the ability to do that, but it really comes down to those negotiations.”
Of course, separate considerations – the expanding prevalence of AI music chief among them – will likewise factor into the multifaceted talks. And more broadly, it goes without saying that Spotify must strike a balance between bolstering revenue with higher prices and inhibiting user growth.
The audio-entertainment platform has forecasted 530 million monthly active users (MAUs), including 217 million subscribers, for 2023’s second quarter. Earlier this week, the company disclosed that it had 515 million MAUs (and 210 million subscribers) as of March 31st.
Besides cracking the half-billion mark, Spotify’s Q1 2023 MAUs total resulted in large part from listeners in emerging markets throughout Latin America (21 percent of MAUs) and Rest of World (28 percent of MAUs). Latin America’s share of Spotify users surpassed that of North America for the first time, though Europe and North America nevertheless accounted for almost 70 percent of subscribers.