Apple has many subscription services at this point. Unfortunately, three of them are about to become more expensive, following a trend of price hikes from services like YouTube Premium.
Apple is slightly increasing prices on several subscriptions, starting with Apple Music, the company’s music streaming service. The monthly price is increasing from $9.99 per month to $10.99/mo ($1 increase), and the family plan is going from $14.99/mo to $16.99/mo ($2 increase). If you pay yearly for an individual plan, it’s going from $99 per year to $109 a year.
Apple’s movie and TV streaming service, Apple TV+ (not to be confused with Apple TV the set-top box), is also affected. The monthly price is going from $4.99 to $6.99, while the annual plan is jumping from $49.99 to $69. That matches the monthly price of Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported plan, which will launch on November 3.
Finally, Apple One is increasing in price, which provides access to Music, TV+, Arcade, and iCloud, and other services in one discounted package. The individual plan is going from $14.95/mo to $16.95/mo, and the family plan is rising from $19.95/mo to $22.95. Finally, the Premier plan (which adds News+ and Fitness+) will go from $29.95/mo to $32.95/mo.
Apple told 9to5Mac in a statement, “The change to Apple Music is due to an increase in licensing costs, and in turn, artists and songwriters will earn more for the streaming of their music. We also continue to add innovative features that make Apple Music the world’s best listening experience. We introduced Apple TV+ at a very low price because we started with just a few shows and movies. Three years later, Apple TV+ is home to an extensive selection of award-winning and broadly acclaimed series, feature films, documentaries, and kids and family entertainment from the world’s most creative storytellers.”
Apple’s statement is the usual circular logic for subscription price increases: the price hike allows for more features, which in turn can be used to later justify higher prices, and so on. The “increase in licensing costs” may be largely out of Apple’s hands, as most popular music is owned by a handful of record labels, but it’s still annoying for anyone paying to use the service.
Apple’s locked ecosystem also means there aren’t alternatives to the company’s services that have all the same features. For example, Spotify and Pandora are capable alternatives to Apple Music, but they don’t have the same integration with HomePods and other Apple hardware as Apple’s own service. The device backup features and other system-level integrations in iCloud (part of Apple One) also isn’t fully available on competitors like Google Photos and Microsoft OneDrive.