Apple Music raised the price of its Student tier subscription plan by a dollar in June of this year, setting a new base price of $5.99 in the United States. A similar price increase has now been implemented for the standard plan. Apple has quietly increased the price of its own music streaming service for both the individual and family plans.
The base plan, which previously cost $9.99 per month, is now available for $10.99 per month. Apple Music is now $109 for those who prefer to pay annually, up from $99. The family plan, which used to cost $14.99 per month, is now $16.99 per month.
Apple said in a statement to TechCrunch that the price increase was due to “an increase in licensing costs.” However, the company guarantees — or claims — that as Apple Music revenue grows, “artists and songwriters will earn more for the streaming of their music.” Music streaming services have frequently enraged artists due to low pay, as a significant portion of the revenue is split between Apple and the artist.
Apple offers better value, for now
Due to the increase in subscription pricing, Apple Music’s individual and family plans are now a dollar more expensive than Spotify Premium’s respective subscription bundles. However, there are a few advantages on Apple’s side of the music streaming ecosystem that may make the higher fee worthwhile, particularly for audiophiles.
To begin with, Spotify claims to have over 80 million tracks on its platform, whereas Apple Music reached the 100 million song milestone in October of this year. Both services also have a good selection of podcasts. However, one area where Apple Music outperforms Spotify is audio quality.
Over a year ago, Apple announced a free lossless audio upgrade for its entire music catalog. The standard quality is 16-bit at 44.1 kHz, and it can be upgraded to 24-bit at 48 kHz. Those with high-end audio gear, on the other hand, can benefit from incredibly detailed 24-bit hi-res audio at 192 kHz.
Furthermore, Apple provided Spatial Audio goodness, complemented by the Dolby Atmos perk, without charging an additional fee. Over a year after introducing these audiophile bonuses, it appears that Apple is finally charging for them. Spotify, on the other hand, has yet to launch its much-touted Hi-Fi tier. However, according to a user survey, the company may charge as much as $20 per month.