As we near the end of another year the predictions are starting to trickle out for 2020. So, it is not surprising that Rolling Stone would examine the world of streaming music and posit whether, after a decade of remaining relatively flat, we will see a price hike in the days, weeks and months ahead.
In her article, “Why Do We Still Pay Only $10 a Month for Music?” reporter Amy X. Wang reminds us that consumers have never had greater access to more music catalogs, available to us on more platforms, usable on more devices, than ever before. She also notes that Spotify, with its 250 million users (110 million paid), is hitting milestones at which, historically, other tech companies start raising prices. And, artists are clamoring for a bigger share of the monetary pie than ever before. Has the time, then, come?
Russ Crupnik of Marketwatch is not so sure, citing the fact that, unlike video streaming services such as Netflix, a Spotify does not currently offer original content to set themselves apart and enable higher rates. Sony Music UK CEO Nick Gatfield is similarly skeptical, given that the $10 a month fee is so well ingrained and accepted and the fact that music is available free on other platforms such as YouTube and Pandora. I utilize the latter while putting up with the occasional ad.
And so it appears that, for at least for the foreseeable future, you and I will continue to enjoy nearly limitless music monthly for about the price of a 30-day Planet Fitness gym membership and a couple of cups of coffee at Starbucks. All music to our ears. Happy new year to us.