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Spotify plots price cut to match Apple Music

World's biggest streaming service ready to cut its subscription prices to compete with Apple

Spotify has indicated it may drop its prices to compete with the launch of Apple Music. Apple’s new streaming music service was launched at WWDC last night, alongside iOS 9 and the latest version of OS X

Although the price of a single subscription to both services is identical at $9.99, Apple will offer a sizeable discount to families wanting to use multiple Music accounts. The Apple Music family bundle allows the service to be used by up to six people for $14.99 per month. 

Spotify also offers family accounts, but at a much steeper price increment. The company charges US customers $5 for each additional family member, which means a single account with only four additional family members costs $30 per month – double what Apple will charge for six family members. Spotify’s UK prices seemingly take no account of exchange rates, with UK users charged £30 for the $30 tariff and so on. 

However, the world’s biggest streaming service has told reporters it could drop its prices to match its well-heeled new rival. “We already have similar family pricing in some markets and we expect to offer competitive pricing everywhere in the near future,” Jonathan Price, Spotify’s global head of communications and public policy, told The Verge. Those price cuts will hurt the loss-making Spotify much more than Apple, which has almost $200 billion of cash in reserve. 

Apple Music will launch on 30 June, and will initially offer users a three-month free trial before automatically rolling into a monthly subscription. Apple has yet to announce UK pricing, but it seems highly unlikely Apple will undercut Spotify in the UK but not in its home market, making £9.99 and £14.99 price tiers the most probable scenario.

Indeed, £9.99 seems the baseline price for music subscription services in the UK. It’s the monthly fee that Google charges for access to Google Play Music and the cheapest subscription offered by Jay Z’s new streaming service, Tidal. Only Microsoft’s Xbox Music Pass bucks the trend, coming in at £8.99 per month. 

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