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Streaming music getting more expensive: How to keep costs down

Most streaming services charge about $10 or $11 per month for their music bundles, but there might be ways to cut the cost down.
Streaming music getting more expensive: How to keep costs down
Posted at 7:25 AM, Apr 19, 2024

Streaming movies, TV shows, and music has now become a part of daily life for many Americans.

But some music streaming services may be turning up the volume on their pricing, with reports of a possible Spotify price hike in the near future.

That may have you thinking of hitting "next" on how you listen to some tunes. Sure, you can listen to music for free, if you don't mind commercial breaks on the radio.

But many of today's music fans, like college student Awa Chong, prefer streaming, without the ads.

"I hate the free version with commercials," she said. "I feel like they always play commercials every 30 minutes, and you can't choose whatever music you want to listen to."

Fellow student Peter Albright also doesn't mind paying for Spotify.

"Spotify has great playlists," he said. "And great recommended music as well, so that's why I like it."

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Price hikes may be on the way

Soon, Spotify subscribers could be paying more. Bloomberg reports Spotify may be raising prices, to help cover the cost of audio books.

So we broke down the numbers to see how the top streaming services compare.

The following are currently $10.99 a month for individual, ad-free accounts:

- Spotify

- Apple Music

- Amazon Music Unlimited

- Tidal

- YouTube Music

- Pandora premium, a bit less at $9.99 a month.

So with little wiggle room, how do you keep streaming costs down?

Simple ways to save

Jared Newman, tech reporter and author of the Advisorator newsletter, suggests bundling. 

"If you watch a lot of YouTube, and you want to get YouTube with no ads, then it makes sense to kind of bundle YouTube music," he said.

Most services offer family plans or student discounts, which Chong takes advantage of.

"I use the student version; it's about $4 a month and I also get free Hulu with it, so I like it." she said.

Or, Newman says, consider a cheaper tier. Pandora, for instance, has a plan that falls between its free plan and its $10 a month plan.

"So if you just want to throw something on and aren't particularly fussy about specific songs, that's $5 a month. So that's half the price," he said.

Another trick: Spotify offers annual gift cards for $99, saving you more than $30 a year.

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