Whether Spotify, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video: Each streaming service has its own unique selling proposition. But if you want to be everywhere, it can quickly become expensive. Spotify and YouTube now want to counter this trend with low-cost subscriptions.

Not so long ago, the Walkman and Discman made the impossible possible: With them, you could listen to music everywhere and always carry your favorite cassette or CD with you.

Today, however – in the age of the smartphone – that is no longer relevant. For some years now, streaming services have been conquering the music industry and enabling the seemingly endless consumption of music anytime and anywhere.

Spotify has clearly established itself as the market leader here. The industry leader had a global market share of 32 percent in the first quarter of 2020. Apple Music was a distant second with just 18 percent.

Spotify experiments with different subscription models

The number of subscriptions for music, series and movies can quickly run into money. The list of providers is getting longer and longer, and so is the virtual receipt. But Spotify now wants to get started here. The Verge reports that the streaming service offers selected users a monthly subscription for a greatly reduced price.

Spotify currently seems to be experimenting a lot. The magazine reports about at least one user who was offered Spotify’s premium subscription for $0.99 – the normal subscription costs ten times as much.

Spotify has offered other prices to other users. The Verge writes that the streaming service wants to gauge the interest of subscribers with different pricing models.

But the cheaper subscription also has its price, of course. Users can still skip as many songs as they want and even select individual songs. That is not possible with the free subscription. However, the unpopular advertising returns for the discounted version.

YouTube is also testing cheap subscriptions

Since mid-2018, YouTube has also been offering its premium subscription in Germany. For 11.99 euros a month, subscribers can download videos and access YouTube Originals and YouTube Music.

YouTube is currently testing the “Premium Lite” subscription model in several European countries. For 6.99 euros a month, users can watch YouTube videos without ads.

Can the low-cost subscriptions catch on?

It remains to be seen whether the low-cost subscriptions from Spotify and YouTube will be successful. It is also unclear whether and in what form the two streaming giants will even include them in their portfolio on a permanent basis.

With the reduced-price subscriptions, however, the two streaming services can certainly appeal to a large number of potential new users who were previously unable or unwilling to afford a subscription.