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Spotify to hike prices by up to £24 a year – here's what's happening

Music streaming service Spotify has announced it's hiking the prices on most of its paid plans by up to £2 a month (£24 a year). Below we explain who's affected, when you'll see the changes and how to cut costs – whether you want to stick with Spotify or not.

It's the second time in less than a year that Spotify has upped prices, after it raised them by £1 a month (£12 a year) last July.

For more cost-cutting tips and info on how Spotify works, see our Free and cheap music guide. You can also keep an eye on our Spotify deals page for discounts and offers.

Spotify is increasing the price of three of its plans

This will impact both new and existing subscribers. Here's a run-down of the price changes:

Spotify plans – and which ones are increasing in price

Spotify plan type Previous monthly price New monthly price
Premium
Individual (one listener) £10.99 £11.99
(+£1)
Duo (two listeners) £14.99 £16.99
(+£2)
Family (up to six listeners) £17.99 £19.99
(+£2)
Student (one listener) £5.99 £5.99
(No change)
Standard
Free (one listener but less functionality and you will hear ads) £0 £0
(No change)

When the change kicks in depends on your billing date

  • Existing paid-for subscriber? Spotify says it will email you giving you one-month's notice of the change, so you'll get at least one more month at your existing price before being charged the new amount. Depending on when your billing date is, you'll start paying the new price in either May or June.

  • On a free trial? You'll pay the old price for one month once your trial ends – after that, you'll pay the new price.

  • New subscriber? You'll start paying the new price straight away. 

Spotify currently has 236 million-plus 'Premium' (all plans barring the Free version) subscribers worldwide, but it wouldn't tell us how many UK users it has. The streaming service adds that it's upping prices in order to "keep innovating" and "continue to deliver value to fans".

How to cut costs if you want to stick with Spotify

If you're unhappy about Spotify prices rising but still want access to the music streaming service, there are a number of options to consider to cut costs: 

  • On the Individual Premium plan? Save £45 by paying for a year upfront with a gift card. When we checked on Tuesday 30 April, we found Amazon and Currys offering digital gift cards that give you 12 months' of Individual Premium for £99 – a saving of £44.88 compared to paying monthly at the new price.

    You can redeem the gift card in your Spotify account – the prepaid period will start on your next billing date, at which point your regular monthly payments will stop (they'll restart once the 12 months has ended).

    If you're having issues with the redemption, try cancelling your plan first – we've seen some reports from MoneySavers that this worked for them. If you're still struggling, contact Spotify directly and it should be able to help.

    Make sure to use the gift card straight away to minimise the risk of forgetting about it or the issuer going belly up.

    Unfortunately, this tip won't work if you're on the Duo, Family or Student plans, as gift cards can only be redeemed on the Individual Premium plan (though the Student plan is cheaper anyway).

  • Downgrade your Spotify package. If you're on the Family subscription for up to six people, yet only two of you use the service, you can save £3 a month (both now and once the price hikes have taken force) by switching to Duo. Equally, if your Duo account is only used by one person, you can switch to an Individual account to save £4 a month now, or £5 a month after the hikes take force.

  • Consider the free version of Spotify. Spotify has confirmed that it will continue to offer free access to those who don't mind ads and less control over what they listen to. Just be aware that this service is limited; most songs, for example, will be played on shuffle, and you'll have to listen to adverts.

How to cut music streaming costs if you're happy to leave Spotify

If you're unhappy about the changes and want to leave Spotify, you have a few options:

  • Cancel Spotify. As Spotify is offered on a one-month rolling contract, you can simply cancel your subscription penalty-free at any point. You'll continue to get the service until your next billing date – then your account will be switched to a limited, free one. You just need to complete the following steps, so long as you signed up directly via Spotify:

    - Log in to your Spotify account.
    - Under ‘Subscription’, select 'Change plan'.
    - Scroll to 'Spotify Free' and select 'Cancel plan'.

    Contact your service provider if you signed up to Spotify via your mobile or broadband provider, or follow Apple's steps to cancel if you pay via its App Store.

  • Consider switching – for example, Amazon Music Unlimited and Apple Music are currently £1 to £3 a month cheaper. While Spotify is the best-known, there are a wide range of other music streaming services out there.

    For example, right now Amazon's and Apple's individual music streaming plans each cost £10.99 a month – £1 a month less than Spotify's new Individual price. Or, if you already subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can get Music Unlimited for £9.99 a month, making it £2 a month cheaper.

    If you need a family plan, Apple Music currently charges £16.99 a month, a saving of £3 a month compared to Spotify's new price – and Apple’s family plan supports six listeners just like Spotify.

    Of course, there's no guarantee Amazon and Apple will keep prices as they are now – but if they do go up, you can cancel penalty-free as with Spotify.

  • Use free trial offers. Both Amazon Music Unlimited and Apple Music (as well as Spotify) offer free trials to new users, in some cases of up to three months. Just remember to cancel any trials before they end if you don't want to actually pay for the service.

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