Spotify Makes Good on Promise to Hike Prices in France — Across-the-Board Increases Follow ‘Streaming Tax’ Implementation

spotify france price increase
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spotify france price increase
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Spotify has raised its prices in France, and some subscribers are far from thrilled with the news. Photo Credit: Anthony Tan

Following the implementation of a controversial “streaming tax” in France, Spotify has officially increased its prices in the European nation.

Ticked-off subscribers just recently started speaking out against the change, which, far from coming as a surprise, has arrived about three months after Spotify committed to a pricing pivot. Designed to fund France’s National Music Center, the noted tax drew considerable criticism from DSPs in 2023. (The Center itself in March of 2024 attempted to refute Spotify’s arguments, alleging a misrepresentation of the facts.)

Among other things, pre-implementation pushback, dating to at least December of 2023, encouraged the tax’s application to a variety of industry revenue (not solely streaming). And from the get-go, Spotify didn’t hesitate to spell out that a price hike was on the table.

Not stopping there, the Stockholm-based platform also cut sponsorship ties with multiple French music festivals in response to the tax, which is expected to bring in €15 million annually. For the impacted festivals, this less-than-ideal development arrived at a particularly inopportune time.

Now, French subscribers will have to pay more for Spotify – though the latest price increases are modest in the grand scheme of things.

Specifically, Spotify France’s solo plan has risen in cost from €10.99 per month to €11.12, against a shift from €17.99 to €18.21 monthly for the Family tier. Plus, Duo will now set couples back €15.17 per month domestically, against €6.06 for the Student plan.

For reference, Paris-headquartered Deezer charges €11.99 per month for its own individual plan – meaning that Spotify remains a more affordable option in France. Nevertheless, some customers are far from thrilled with the bumps, as mentioned at the outset.

“This justification feels like a feeble attempt to shift blame,” one user wrote on the Spotify Community board of an email about the price spikes, “reminiscent of a schoolchild’s ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuse. … If this tax is indeed the sole reason, I would appreciate more transparency on the breakdown of costs and Spotify’s efforts to negotiate a better deal for its customers.

“Otherwise, this increase comes across as a thinly veiled attempt to simply boost profits under the guise of government regulations,” the livid listener proceeded, also alluding to Spotify’s comparatively low cost in Turkey.

Should fed-up subscribers be inclined to consider other ad-free streaming options, the individual tiers of YouTube Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music Unlimited each cost €10.99 per month in France. Furthermore, today’s response will be worth keeping in mind moving forward; logic and evidence suggest that even larger price hikes are forthcoming for all major music services.