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Inflation Hits Student Discount Programs as Streaming Companies Raise Prices


While the pace of consumer inflation in the U.S. has slowed considerably from last year’s highs, many companies are still raising prices, and college students’ discounted streaming subscriptions are no exception to the trend.

Spotify, YouTube, and Paramount are just a few of the major streaming service providers that raised the cost of student plans earlier this year, while Apple and Amazon raised prices last year.

Key Takeaways

  • Many popular streaming platforms raised prices for their student plans earlier this year and in 2022.
  • Spotify, Apple, YouTube, Paramount, and Amazon are a few of the major streaming service providers that lifted the costs of their student plans. 
  • Offering student discounts can help companies expand their customer base and build brand loyalty.

Discounts can sometimes attract budget-conscious students to participate in services they might not otherwise spend their money on, and for companies, it’s an opportunity to expand their customer base and build brand loyalty. However, students drawn to subscription services for discounted rates may have noticed increases in recent months.

Paramount Plus

Last month, Paramount (PARA) raised the cost of its ad-supported Paramount Plus plan by $1, bringing the monthly cost to $5.99 from $4.99. For students with a 25% discount, this would translate to an increase of 75 cents, with the monthly cost going to $4.50 from $3.75.


In July, Spotify increased the cost of all its premium plans, including its student option. The price of Spotify’s premium subscription for students went up by $1 to $5.99 from $4.99, a 20% increase.

YouTube Premium and YouTube Music

YouTube, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), lifted the cost of its premium student subscription to watch videos and stream music ad-free to $7.99 a month from $6.99 in July. The hike was part of an increase on all YouTube premium prices in July 2023. 

Apple Music and Apple TV

Apple reportedly raised the price of its student tier in June 2022, in an email to subscribers. Like Spotify’s price jump, Apple Music’s student cost went up by $1 to $5.99 from $4.99.

Amazon Prime

Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime student program includes the same benefits enjoyed by traditional Prime members including fast delivery services, Prime Video, and Amazon Music Prime for $7.49 per month. The cost of the student membership went up by $1 from $6.50 in early 2022.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.