Apple says it is raising prices for its TV+, Music and services-bundle subscriptions for the first time since their respective launches, becoming the latest consumer tech group to increase fees for customers.
The iPhone maker increased the price of Apple Music by $1 to $10.99 a month, citing “an increase in licensing costs”, and said that artists and songwriters would make more money as a result. Family plan prices went up $2 to $16.99 a month.
Apple also raised the price of its Netflix rival, TV+, by $1 to $5.99 a month, while the cost for an Apple One subscription — an all-access pass to its music, TV, arcade, cloud, news and fitness offerings — rose $2 for individuals, to $14.95 a month, and $3 for a family pass, to $22.95 a month.
Apple’s move comes as inflation has skyrocketed, putting more pressure on consumers. In February, Amazon lifted the price of a US Prime subscription by $20 to $139, citing higher wage and transportation costs, and its Music Unlimited plan went up $1 to $8.99 a month in April.
Netflix earlier this year raised prices in the US, a move the company later said prompted some customers to cancel subscriptions. Disney-Plus has announced it will raise the cost of its ad-free service from $7.99 to $10.99 a month, and Hulu also recently lifted prices, with its ad-supported tier going up $1 to $8 a month, and its ad-free plan increasing by $2 to $15 a month.
The move by Apple will put further pressure on Spotify to follow suit. The big music companies have been pushing Spotify for years to raise prices, arguing that Netflix has raised its subscription fee several times while Spotify has left its flagship subscription at $10 a month since launching in the US a decade ago.
Spotify has held on to a wide lead over Apple in paid music streaming. Apple Music has not reported its subscriber count in years, but Midia analysts in January estimated it commanded about 15 per cent of the market, while Spotify held 31 per cent.
Services, Apple’s unit for App Store purchases, cloud storage, warranties and consumer subscriptions, has been its fastest-growing division in recent years. In 2021, revenue from that division grew 27 per cent from the previous year to $68bn — more than its Mac and iPad divisions combined — with operating margins above 70 per cent.
The price increases come just weeks after Apple lifted prices on in-app purchases in numerous countries including across the eurozone. The Coalition for App Fairness called the move “a unilateral money grab made possible by its unchecked power”.
Spotify is set to report earnings on Tuesday, while Apple earnings are scheduled for Thursday.