The debate about the price of streaming subscriptions usually focuses on whether they should go higher. However, there have always also been arguments that they should go lower – in terms of introducing cheaper, restricted subscriptions to tempt people not quite ready to pay $9.99 a month. Last week saw reports on the latest tests by YouTube and Spotify on this front.
YouTube’s was called ‘Premium Lite’ and costs €6.99 a month (the tests are in Europe). It’s essentially the existing €11.99 YouTube Premium subscription minus YouTube Music, background playback and offline downloads: so it’s purely about removing ads.
As for Spotify, it is testing a tier called ‘Spotify Plus’ which is basically Spotify’s free tier, with its restrictions for on-demand listening removed. So in this case, it’s about keeping the ads, but taking a step up the payment funnel. The Verge said that while one reader had seen the new plan offered for $0.99 a month “Spotify’s test involves offering the new plan randomly at a variety of price points to gauge user interest” – so this may not be the final price, if Spotify Plus ever does come to market.