Spotify Plans to Increase Prices in France – Will Deezer and Apple Music Follow Suit?

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Spotify subscribers in France are on the brink of experiencing an unprecedented price surge, making them the bearers of the highest streaming fees across the European Union. This move comes as a direct response to a freshly implemented French streaming levy, a financial adjustment that’s not unique to Spotify but extends to its competitors including Deezer, Apple Music, and YouTube Music as well. Initiated in January, this levy aims to bolster emerging talent and the broader French music industry.

So, what’s making Spotify lead the charge in hiking subscription costs? The answer is not as straightforward as you’d think. Despite being a stalwart amongst the crème de la crème of music streaming platforms, Spotify’s announcement of a forthcoming price uptick — the exact extent of which remains undisclosed — signals a firm stance. Through its blog, the platform expressed concern over the new 1.2% tax, equating to roughly 13 cents on its €11.99 monthly fee, labeling it as “a sizeable sum” too hefty to shoulder.

The ramifications of this levy are already visible beyond subscription fees. Spotify has recalibrated its financial commitments within France, halting sponsorships of music festivals and slicing the funds allocated for local artists’ promotional efforts. With the total annual yield expected from this levy touching the €15 million ($16 million) mark across all streaming services, Spotify’s lion’s share contribution puts it firmly in the spotlight.

## The Tug-of-War Between Streamers and France

But is this situation purely about the fiscal implications? Digging deeper reveals a nuanced landscape. The levy, though seemingly minor, is stark against the backdrop of Spotify’s budget allocations, such as its loss-making podcast division’s expenditures including notable payouts to personalities like Joe Rogan. This expenditure happens despite steady growth in subscribers and revenue. Not to mention, juxtaposed with CEO Daniel Ek’s earnings from Spotify share sales over the past year, the levy’s expected €15 million revenue is merely a drop in the ocean.

Interestingly, this levy overshadows the €14 million collective voluntary contribution previously proposed by all streaming giants, barring Amazon, towards the Centre National de la Musique — the very beneficiary of this levy. However, voluntary contributions bear an inherent flexibility of cessation, a privilege absent in state-imposed levies.

If Spotify’s strategy to escalate its prices beyond the levy’s requirements is interpreted as a maneuver to stir consumer discontent towards French regulators, it might set a precedent for other providers. Deezer’s CEO, Jeronimo Folgueira, branded the levy as “the most unfavorable outcome imaginable,” hinting at a potential ripple effect across the industry regarding pricing strategies.

Yet, the real question is: can a minor price adjustment trigger a contemporary French Revolution of sorts among subscribers? Probably not. What’s likelier is that Spotify, through a calculated risk, aims to test the waters for broader, market-wide price escalations. Should France weather this storm without significant backlash or subscription cancellations, it might embolden streaming services to revise their pricing models elsewhere too.

### Also of Interest

– [Tidal’s Impending HiFi Price Reduction Poses a Stronger Challenge to Spotify](https://www.techradar.com/audio/audio-streaming/tidals-incoming-hifi-price-cut-makes-it-an-even-better-spotify-alternative)
– [Spotify’s Quest for New Artists Becomes Tougher Post-Layoffs](https://www.techradar.com/audio/spotify/finding-new-artists-on-spotify-just-got-harder-after-layoffs-put-an-end-to-useful-music-encyclopedia-and-im-tired-of-it)
– [Apple Music’s New Initiative Might Finally Simplify Switching from Spotify](https://www.techradar.com/audio/audio-streaming/finally-apple-music-might-be-making-it-easier-to-leave-spotify-with-your-playlists)

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