Apple's services price hike was inevitable, and it's not over
Apple Music and Apple TV Plus are just the beginning.
Well, here we are. Apple is like every other streaming company now.
Yesterday, Apple announced to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Apple One customers that the price of their subscriptions were going up. According to the company, the new prices will break down as follows:
- Apple Music Individual: Increased from $9.99 per month to $10.99 per month
- Apple Music Family: Increased from $14.99 per month to $16.99 per month
- Apple TV Plus: Increased from $4.99 per month to $6.99 per month
- Apple One Individual: Increased from $14.95 per month to $16.95 per month
- Apple One Family: Increased from $19.95 per month to $22.95 per month
- Apple One Premier: Increased from $29.95 per month to $32.95 per month
Apple says that these price increases impact both new and existing subscribers, so there's no being "grandfathered" in to the old price. The company says that the price increases will give go into effect after your next full subscription renewal, so you have at least a month before you're paying the higher price.
An Apple Music price hike is fine... if it's for artists
Apple's reasoning for the price increase on Apple Music leaves the door open for it to continue to do so in the future. In a statement, the company said that "licensing costs" were the causes of the price hike.
"The change to Apple Music is due to an increase in licensing costs, and in turn, artists and songwriters will earn more for the streaming of their music," a statement reads.
I'm personally okay paying a little more for Apple Music if it actually means the artists I listen to earn more money. And, according to a recent report by Musician Wave, Apple continues to be one of the best music streaming services in terms of paying artists. Only Tidal and YouTube Music pay artists more and Spotify, surprisingly, pays almost half of what Apple does.
Apple's reasoning for Apple TV Plus doesn't make sense
Apple's reasoning for increasing the price of Apple TV Plus was expected, especially if the company plans to introduce an ad-supported tier in the coming years. I've personally argued that the future of Apple TV Plus, unfortunately, appears to be one with ads. However, its reasoning for doing so only makes sense to a point.
Apple says it "introduced Apple TV+ at a very low price because we started with just a few shows and movies." Now that its library is more compelling, it will charge more.
The increased size of your library alone is not a valid reason to increase the price of your streaming service. If that were the case, as per the size of streaming libraries from Deja View, Netflix would cost $194 a month. You not only need to increase the size of your library but the number of big hits within that library as well.
Has Apple earned that? That could be argued. The television shows and films on the service have continued to pick up awards at an increasing rate since the service launched. The Emmys are practically a lock for Ted Lasso until the series ends.
However, are there enough Ted Lasso's? And, will they have staying power? The value of content, for the most part, fades over time. I'm not likely to tune back into Defending Jacob, Mr. Corman, or Invasion (yes, those are all real titles on Apple TV Plus). While other services have old and modern classics that beg a rewatch like Stranger Things, The Office, 30 Rock, The West Wing, and others, Apple has yet to build a number of tentpole series or films that warrant future price increases.
Price increases are inevitable
While a price increase across any of Apple's services is a pain, it is an inevitable reality. The company is responding not only to the demands of its financial realities internally, but it is also following the rest of the industry.
Netflix, over the course of its streaming career, has raised its prices at least four times. Disney, which launched after Apple TV Plus, has already raised its price once.
Such a price increase was an inevitability with Apple's services as well and it surely won't be the last. We'll all be paying $19.99 per month for Apple TV Plus or $49.99 per month for Apple One one day.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.