The pricing for music streaming services in South Africa has remained relatively unchanged since Simfy Africa first entered the market over a decade ago.
However, this is starting to shift as the industry has evolved and international players like Apple, YouTube Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer have become dominant. Despite the depreciation of the rand against major currencies, these streaming services have maintained a monthly fee of only R60 for unlimited access.
To counter the impact of a weaker rand on their earnings, other international software-as-a-service companies have frequently and significantly raised their prices, often surpassing inflation rates. Adobe Creative Cloud, Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft 365 have all experienced price hikes.
However, the situation seems to be changing for local consumers. Apple Music, Deezer, and Tidal have all announced price increases for this year. Joining the trend, Spotify recently informed its Premium subscribers about price increases for its Individual and Duo plans.
The Individual pricing will rise from R59.99 to R64.99 per month, while the Duo plan, which allows two people to stream on one subscription, will increase from R79.99 to R84.99 per month. The pricing for the Family plan remains unchanged, but the discounted student tier, known as Mini, has been discontinued.
Despite the average increase of slightly over 7% in Spotify’s pricing, which is slightly above inflation, it does not come close to compensating for the significant decline in the value of the rand in recent years. When comparing prices in three mature markets (the UK, US, and Germany) and two emerging markets (South Africa and Kenya), it is evident that streaming services are still absorbing costs in markets with weaker currencies.
The prices listed in the table below are for individual plans, and the exchange rate used is accurate as of the morning of October 4, 2023.