UK living cost crisis: Over a million subscriptions to music streaming services cancelled

“The rising cancellation rates of music subscriptions is evidence that British households are starting to prioritise the spending of their disposable income.”

We Can't Pay protestor

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty

Over a million subscriptions to music streaming services such as Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited have been cancelled, as UK citizens face record price hikes for living necessities such as food, fuel and energy.

Market researchers Kantar (via BBC) report that individuals of the UK population subscribed to at least one music streaming service is now 39.5 per cent, down from 43.6 per cent at 2020’s start.

37 per cent of customers who’ve cancelled subscriptions were said to have done so in order to save money, and these dips were most dramatic in the Under 35 category, which saw users fall to 53.5 per cent from 57 per cent. Over at Amazon Music Unlimited, 37 per cent of people who cancelled cited saving money as one of the main factors for unsubscribing.

“The rising cancellation rates of music subscriptions is evidence that British households are starting to prioritise the spending of their disposable income,” Kantar told BBC.

The drop in subscriptions impacts artists, some of whose livelihood depends on monthly streaming paycheques.

In a situation where affordable listening streaming alternatives exist, such as SoundCloud and YouTube, the idea of shelling out £120 annually for Spotify or Apple Music can be a hard sell.

Kantar’s report found that subscription dips weren’t a phenomenon exclusive to the UK; subscribers in the Under 35 category dipped by six per cent in the US – down to 63 per cent from 69 per cent.

According to a Guardian report yesterday (16 June) the UK is expected to face food price rises of up to 15 per cent by the Summer, which would be the highest level in over 20 years. Global issues, such as the Ukraine conflict, China’s production lockdowns and export bans from other countries, are attributed to the hikes.