One Million Music Subscriptions Canceled in UK Due To Cost of Living Crisis

The rising cost of living crisis has forced one million music streaming subscriptions in the UK to be canceled by households to make savings.

A new report by market researchers Kantar found a drop in the total number of individuals with access to at least one music subscription. It is now at 39.5 percent, down from 43.6 percent at the start of 2020. The report found that 37% of customers cited saving money as the reason for cutting services. This number is up 4% from the year before.

There have been 600,000 fewer users under 35s who have access to a music subscription compared to the previous year. Students who have access to it have dropped from 67 percent to 59 percent and those under 35s with a subscription also saw the fastest drop. They went from 57 percent to 53.5 percent.

For Amazon Music, 37 percent of people who canceled their subscriptions said saving money was one of their key reasons. This number has risen to 41 percent for Spotify.

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

It comes after nearly half of UK night time businesses said they were “unsure” whether they will still be in business this time next year.

According to NME, recent research from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), 53.2 percent of the 200 businesses said they are experiencing a 30 percent rise in operating costs compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The research also revealed that 48 percent of respondents are “barely breaking even.” Furthermore, 20 percent of those are losing money on a day-to-day basis.

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The increasing number of cancellations of music streaming platform subscriptions comes as people face soaring price rises in areas such as food, fuel and energy bills.

“According to the Office for National Statistics, regular pay is falling at the fastest rate in more than a decade when rising prices are taken into account,” states BBC.

Weston is an aspiring artist. He releases his music onto Spotify, and as per BBC says, it’s “not great to hear” that numbers are falling. However, the artist can see why people are canceling “with the cost of living crisis.”

Representative image via Freepik (Music playlist vector created by storyset – www.freepik.com)

“It gives millions of people accessibility, and plays the role of a record label from years ago,” Weston tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

A standard subscription to the popular music streaming platforms Spotify and Apple Music costs GBP 9.99 (USD 12.27) each, per month. This makes the yearly price of the subscription just under GBP 120 (USD 147.38).

These types of premium streaming services are unattractive options at the moment. Users claim their price of GBP 120 being “way too much.”

“Listening to music should be free. I use Soundcloud because it’s easier,” a user tells Newsbeat and said YouTube would be another option she would choose ahead of streaming.

This is not the first report of subscription services seeing a fall in their subscribers due to the rising cost of living. Kantar reported in April that 1.51 million TV and film services were “canned” in the first three months of 2022.

Netflix, too, revealed it had lost 200,000 subscribers in that period. The film and television series streaming platform warned another two million were expected to quit in the coming months.

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