Spotify In The UK Spotify Introduces Basic Individual Music-Only Subscription

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Spotify, the popular music streaming platform, has recently launched a new subscription tier called Basic Individual.

What is Basic Individual?

Basic Individual is a music-only subscription tier introduced by Spotify. Unlike other tiers, this one does not offer access to audiobooks. It is currently available in the UK only and costs £10.99 per month.

Price Increase for Premium Tier:

In addition to the launch of Basic Individual, Spotify has also announced an increase in the price of its individual Premium tier. In the United States, the Premium tier will now cost $11.99 per month, a $1 increase from before. Existing US-based subscribers will receive an email explaining the new price, which will be effective from their billing date in July.

Introduction of a ‘Music-Only’ Tier:

Spotify’s co-founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, had previously mentioned the introduction of a ‘music-only’ subscription tier. While the exact launch date and markets were not confirmed, the arrival of Basic Individual in the UK suggests that it will likely cost $10.99 when it eventually launches in the US.

Debate Over Bundling

Spotify’s decision to classify its Premium tiers as ‘bundles’ by combining music and audiobooks has sparked a debate with music publishers in the United States. This move allows Spotify to pay a lower mechanical royalty rate to publishers and songwriters compared to standalone music subscription services.

The Legal Settlement

In 2022, a legal settlement known as Phonorecords IV was reached between music publishers and streaming services. This settlement permits ‘bundle’ services to pay a lower mechanical royalty rate to publishers and songwriters than standalone music subscription services.

Spotify’s Audiobook Offering

To further integrate audiobooks into its platform, Spotify started offering 15 hours of audiobooks for free with its Premium plans. Additionally, a standalone audiobook tier was launched in March, priced at $9.99 per month, which provides access to audiobooks but not Spotify Premium.

Lawsuit Allegations

The US-based Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has sued Spotify, claiming that the reclassification of Premium services as bundles has resulted in underpayment of royalties to songwriters and publishers. The MLC argues that Spotify’s position does not comply with the law.

As the platform continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact both subscribers and music creators.

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