Spotify is hiking up its prices: Here are 6 cheaper alternatives

The student, duo and family plans are all going up in price

Alex Lee
Tuesday 27 April 2021 14:48
<p>Keep your beats pumping with these music-streaming services</p>

Keep your beats pumping with these music-streaming services

Spotify is one of the biggest music-streaming services in the world: it’s home to over 70 million tracks, and, more recently, 2.2 million podcast titles. It also happens to be one of the most popular music streaming platforms in terms of subscriber numbers. But that could all be about to change.

Yesterday, Spotify announced that the price of some of its premium subscriptions were about to go up and that soon, some of its roughly 7 million subscribers will have to cough up more to listen to their favourite tunes if they want to do so offline, ad-free, and with unlimited skips. 

The biggest price hike will affect anyone currently on the Spotify Premium Family tier. This will increase from £14.99 to £16.99 a month. Students will also have to cough up more on their reduced subscription charge, seeing it go from £4.99 to £5.99, while those on the Premium Duo subscription tier will see the price increase from £12.99 to £13.99.

It’s the first time that Spotify has ever increased subscription prices in the UK, following a similar increase by Netflix. The hike has come on the back of the news that Spotify’s owner, Daniel Ek, is plotting a takeover of Arsenal after the football club dropped out of the European Super League.

Thankfully, the individual premium subscription will remain the same at £9.99 and the price hike won’t come into effect until June for existing subscribers. For any new joiners, the new price will come into effect on 30 April.

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With the imminent increase on the horizon, you might be looking to switch away. There are a number of options around that provide as good of a browsing and listening experience as Spotify. We’ve rounded up cheaper – though still good – alternatives below.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Cheaper alternatives to Spotify Premium

Individual plan: £7.99 to £9.99 a month 

Student plan: £4.99 per month  

Family plan: £14.99 per month (up to six members)

Free trial? A three-month free trial for new users is available 

Until the price hike, Amazon Music Unlimited was on par with Spotify Premium, but the new cost makes Amazon Music Unlimited a more appealing option. Plus, its individual subscription is still cheaper than Spotify’s if you’re a Prime member.

A subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited allows you to listen to 60 million songs with no interruptions from adverts. If you’re a Prime member already, you have free access to 2 million songs off the bat. 

If you own an Amazon echo dot or Amazon fire stick, there is also a single-device subscription available for £3.99 a month.

Get Amazon Music now

Individual plan: £9.99 per month 

Student plan: £4.99 per month 

Family plan: £14.99 per month (up to six members)

Free trial? No – YouTube Music can be accessed for free already 

Again, like Amazon Music Unlimited, YouTube Music used to cost the same as Spotify but from 30 April, you’ll be paying less.  

With YouTube Music, you can listen to ad-free singles, albums, remixes, live performances and music videos, offering a mix of playlists based on what you’ve previously listened to.

Subscribers can also download, or upload, up to 50,000 songs to listen to offline.

Get YouTube Music now

Individual plan: £9.99 per month

Student plan: £4.99 per month (with the first six months free)

Family plan: £14.99 per month (up to six members)

Free trial? A three-month free trial is available for new members 

Apple Music is now cheaper than Spotify, having once been on par in terms of price. There are 70 million songs to work your way through with Apple Music and, for iPhone users, Apple offers a lengthy three-month trial before you commit to a subscription.

A subscription entitles you to ad-free listening and the ability to download 100,000 songs.

Get Apple Music now

Individual plan: £9.99 per month

Student plan: £4.99 per month   

Family plan: £14.99 per month (up to six members)

Free trial? A three-month free trial for new users

Deezer was also on par with Spotify in terms of pricing but the family and student plan are both now cheaper. Deezer has a similar model to Spotify in that it’s free if you’re prepared to put up with the ads. 

As well as the music, there are also podcasts to tune into too and you can use the app with an Amazon echo or Sonos device. There are 73 million tracks available for you to peruse.   

Get Deezer now

Single plan: £9.99 (up to three devices)

Free trial? No – it’s already free to use

Designed for music producers or people on the hunt for less mainstream musicians, SoundCloud has a giant library of 180 million tracks, mostly uploaded directly from by the artists.

SoundCloud Go+ gives you offline and ad-free listening. While it doesn’t have a family plan, the Go+ plan lets you listen on up to three devices. 

Get SoundCloud Go+ now

Individual plan: £9.99 per month or £19.99 per month for Tidal Hi-Fi

Student plan: £4.99 per month or £9.99 for Tidal Hi-Fi  

Family plan: £14.99 per month or £29.99 per month for Tidal Hi-Fi (up to six members) 

Free trial? A 90-day free trial for new subscribers

While the hi-fi version of Tidal is still significantly more expensive than Spotify’s increased prices, you can still get the standard subscription cheaper than the new Spotify price.

Tidal sets itself apart as the high-fidelity music-streaming service. It is the brainchild of rapper Jay-Z and features lots of exclusive tracks from the likes of Beyonce and Kanye West. It bills itself as offering lossless music that sounds as the artists intended it.

With a standard membership you can enjoy the library of 60 million songs, but the more expensive hi-fi subscription gives you access to lossless audio.

Get Tidal now

Voucher codes 

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For more content, why not read our guide on all the TV and film streaming services you need to know about?

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