Apple raises prices for music and TV+ services for the first time
Apple, the world’s most valuable technology company, has raised the subscription price of its music and TV+ streaming services for the first time to compensate for an increase in licensing costs.
The price increases took effect Monday, the company said.
The basic monthly individual subscription for Apple’s music service has been increased to $10.99, up from $9.99 previously, while the monthly family price has jumped to $16.99 from $14.99 and an annual subscription will now cost $109, up from $99.
TV+ subscribers will now pay a monthly subscription of $6.99, up from $4.99, while the annual price has increased to $69 from $49.99.
Apple’s decision to raise subscription prices follows similar moves by major technology companies, which continue to struggle with skyrocketing operating costs, primarily due to a stronger dollar and stubbornly high inflation.
The company also raised entry-level prices for the Apple One bundle — which includes TV+, music, iCloud, Fitness+ and the Arcade gaming service — to $16.95 from $14.95.
A monthly family subscription to the Apple One now costs $22.95, up from $19.95, while the best option is now $32.95 from $29.95.
More features will be added to the services amid the price increases, a spokesperson for the Cupertino, California-based company said in a statement.
The growth of TV+, which is challenging the global streaming platform Netflix, started at “a very low price because we started with just a few series and movies”, they added.
“Three years later, Apple TV+ is home to an extensive selection of award-winning and widely acclaimed series, feature films, documentaries and children’s and family entertainment from the world’s most creative storytellers,” they said.
The price increases are expected to boost Apple’s revenue. Music, TV+ and One are part of the services portfolio, which contributed nearly $17 billion in revenue in the company’s second quarter.
However, Apple has warned that revenue could be slower in the third quarter due to the increasing strength of the US dollar. The company is scheduled to report its earnings for the three months that ended in September on Thursday.
Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, increased its prices in January, with the basic plan increased to $9.99 from $8.99.
However, it’s also rolling out an ad-supported plan at $6.99 a month, its lowest price.
Meanwhile, the price of Walt Disney’s flagship Disney+ service will jump by more than a third to $11 later in 2022, but the company will keep its original price of $8, also through an ad-supported tier.
Separately on Monday, Apple updated its rules for cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), saying these digital assets could not be used for payments on the App Store.
“Apps cannot use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets,” the company said in a post on its developer website.
Apps can use in-app purchases to sell services related to NFTs, such as minting, listing and transfer, “provided NFT ownership does not unlock in-app features or functionality”, it added.
“Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided the apps do not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases.”
The updates were made after the rollout of iOS 16.1, which has a number of features that add more functionality and seamless operation for Apple’s flagship iPhone.
Updated: October 25, 2022, 12:01 p.m