Amazon Music Unlimited is getting more expensive, making it the latest music streaming service to put up its prices.
From February, subscribers in the UK and US will pay £1 / $1 more a month, bringing the price up to £10.99 / $10.99 (the student tier rises to £5.99 / $5.99). That's in line with Apple Music, which raised its prices in October.
Amazon's price rise will take effect from 21st February. Its support page explains the higher cost is "to help us bring you even more content and features".
This will leave Spotify and Tidal as the only major services charging under £10 / $10 a month for their basic ad-free tiers (Apple and Amazon both charge £10.99 / $10.99, while Deezer is £11.99 / $10.99). Which makes a Spotify price rise more of a question of 'when' rather than 'if'.
The economic situation is putting pressure on all kinds of businesses, and streaming services are no different. Spotify is reportedly planning redundancies as soon as this week to cut costs. There's still no sign of its Hi-Fi hi-res streaming tier which it first announced two years ago – its continued silence on the matter has gone beyond frustrating and is now seen as a joke within the tech industry.
Spotify is hosting an event in March, but there's thought to be still no news on its HiFi tier. Its $9.99 price has remained the same since it launched in the US in 2011, so some would say a price rise is long overdue. CEO Daniel Ek recently hinted that higher prices – in the US at least – were in the pipeline.
Amazon Music Unlimited gives subscribers access to 100 million songs in lossless CD quality, plus "millions" of songs in hi-res. Amazon Prime subscribers pay a little less for Music Unlimited (£8.99 / $8.99 a month – this price also rose last year), or they can stick with Amazon Music Prime which is included free with Prime and offers ad-free listening without lossless quality and only lets you shuffle songs in an album, playlist or discography.
Hi-res music streaming services compared: which should you sign up for?