UK Public Pays Highest Prices In The World For Music Streaming Services

A recent study conducted by Startle, a group of music experts, has shed light on how much UK residents pay for popular music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music. This comes in the wake of price hikes for music plans on these platforms, attributed to rising inflation.


Spotify’s Financial Losses


Spotify stands as the world’s largest music streaming service, boasting 220 million subscribers in 2023.

Paradoxically, the company has never managed to record a net profit. Even with a substantial revenue of €11.72 billion in 2022, Spotify reported a loss of €236 million.


Disparities in Subscription Costs


Startle’s research delved into the monthly expenses incurred by individuals subscribing to three renowned digital music platforms—Spotify Premium, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited (for non-Prime members). The study spanned 46 countries where these services are accessible.

The study revealed that among the nations surveyed, the UK pays the highest prices for individual subscriptions on these platforms, amounting to £10.99 per month or £131.88 annually.

Customers in Iceland and Finland are also among the top spenders, doling out around £10.25 per month (or £123 annually). In contrast, music enthusiasts in countries like the Republic of Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany can expect to pay just over £8 monthly.

Poland emerged as the most affordable country in Europe for music streaming subscriptions. Here, the plans for Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music cost around £3.82, £3.41, and £4.20 per month, respectively. This makes Spotify an astonishing 188 percent cheaper in Poland compared to the UK.


Costly Melodies Across the Atlantic


In the US, music lovers face some of the highest subscription charges. Spotify Premium and Apple Music subscriptions each amount to £8.63 ($10.99) monthly, while Amazon Music Unlimited costs non-Prime members £7.84 ($9.99).

Countries outside Europe also see significant variations. New Zealand ranks second, with Spotify Premium priced at £7.89 (16.99 NZD) and Amazon Music Unlimited at £6.78 (13.49 NZD). Australia secures the third spot, with a monthly charge of £6.53 (12.99 AUD) for all three platforms.

The study identifies Argentina as the most cost-effective destination for accessing all three music streaming services. Amazon Music Unlimited comes at a mere £1.11 (499 ARS) per month or £13.32 yearly, while Spotify Premium costs £1.34 (599 ARS). Colombia and Brazil also offer subscriptions below the £4 mark.



Factors Influencing Subscription Pricing


Digital music service pricing largely hinges on a country’s population and per capita income. Yet, as the study emphasises, neighboring nations often exhibit significant price disparities.

In response to this year’s price hikes, social media platforms have been flooded with innovative strategies for reducing subscription costs. Techniques range from sharing passwords to utilising Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Though VPN usage is legal in the UK, users must adhere to service providers’ terms and conditions. Disregarding these could lead to account restrictions. Additionally, free VPNs pose risks such as data selling, activity tracking, and malware installation.


Choosing the Right Subscription


Individuals seeking cost savings should explore suitable plans based on their needs. Free or discounted plans with ads or limited features are available, alongside student and family discounts.

Businesses should select appropriate background music services to avoid copyright infringement fines. Professional music services offer high-quality tracks and essential features like scheduling and curation, crucial for seamless operations.

In a landscape where music streaming services are subject to price fluctuations, Startle’s study brings to light the significant variations in subscription costs across the globe.

The UK leads with the highest expenses, while affordability emerges in countries like Argentina. As users seek ways to optimise their music experience, it’s crucial to balance cost considerations with legitimate means, ensuring that both individual and business needs are met effectively within the evolving music streaming ecosystem.