Spotify is raising the prices of some of its subscription plans in some countries, but Deezer has come out with criticism of the timing of the latest tranche of increases.
“We just wanted to let you know that Deezer isn’t going to raise prices in the middle of the pandemic. Music, podcasts and radio help people cope and we don’t feel this is the time to make things harder for them,” said chief commercial officer Laurence Miall d’Aout in a statement sent to journalists. “If we ever were to increase prices, we would give our users a three month heads up to make sure that it doesn’t come as a surprise.” It feels like an opportunistic response with a risk of backfiring for Deezer.
Artist campaigners have been calling for streaming subscriptions to rise for years now, and rightsholders unsurprisingly approve too, so Spotify’s rises are welcome and arguably overdue. Certainly those people would rather see rivals welcome the rise and follow suit, rather than bash it. A three-month lead time is a good idea, but the consumer hardship angle is less convincing when you look at how video streaming services have been able to raise their prices during the pandemic, without much of a backlash or churn.