It makes sense for iPhone or Mac owners to be interested in Apple Music. Apple Music sometimes seems a little enigmatic in comparison to music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora.
There are a few temporary “free” choices including a free trial to try out Apple Music, but if you use the service for a long enough period of time, you will have to pay. To use the service, anyone who registers up must pay a monthly charge. For the proper customers, this charge can be well worth it given that Apple Music includes live radio programmed and intriguing exclusives. Let’s examine how much Apple music there is in more detail.
Apple Music plans
Be aware that each subscription plan for Apple Music includes access to the same library of ad-free content, offline listening, Apple Music 1 live and on-demand radio shows, and exclusive releases before we delve into the various pricing tiers the service has to offer.
By registering, you can enjoy ad-free access to more than 100 million songs (all of which are now available for free in lossless audio), along with exclusive playlists and live radio that you can access on any device.
The primary distinction is the Family membership (more on that later), which allows you to add up to six other users to a subscription for a single fixed monthly charge, regardless of the number of additional users.
Apple Music Individual — $11
To restate, Apple Music does not offer a free plan, so if you’re searching for the simplest way to sign up — or if you are not eligible for the following savings — you will need to purchase an Individual subscription, which costs $11 per month.
Apple also gives users the opportunity to pay for a year’s worth of service in advance for $109, which is a savings of $23 and a good way to lock people in. But you should always contrast with other subscriptions (we talk more about this below with our Spotify comparisons). It should be noted that users occasionally must first sign up for Apple Music on a monthly plan and then return to their subscriptions in order to see the option for the cheaper yearly plan.
Apple Music Student Subscription — $6
Similar to Spotify, Apple Music provides any students who have a valid student email address from an accredited institution of higher learning a membership at a discounted rate. That reduces the subscription fee to a manageable $6 per month (up from $5 as of June 2022). At present time, the deal is only valid for college students.
Apple Music Family Subscription — $17
Looking to sign up your household for an Apple Music plan with up to six members? Spend $17 per month on the Apple Music Family plan. In terms of monthly savings, that equates to a total of $5 for two family members, $15 for three, $25 for four, $35 for five, and $45 for six.
Apple Music Voice — $5
An intriguing alternative to regular Apple Music subscriptions is the Voice plan: Although it costs only $5 a month, it is entirely audio-only. It can only be used with Siri-enabled devices because Siri is the only way to activate and control it (primarily just Apple devices). Voice has access to every song’s audio version on Apple Music, but you can’t use the service to watch music videos or search for lyrics. Additionally, it won’t support any of Apple’s premium audio formats, including spatial audio (which lessens the effectiveness of the most recent Air Pods) and lossless audio.
This makes this plan a suitable fit for less frequent customers who utilize Home Pods, Air Pods, or Car Play to stream music frequently. Additionally, it provides personalization based on changing user preferences over time and gives access to all Apple Music playlists.
You can also select an Apple One plan, which bundles all of Apple’s services into a single discounted fee. That includes iCloud+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and more in addition to Apple Music. Apple One Family plans begin at $23, while individual plans begin at $17 per month. A Premier plan is also available, which includes Apple News+ and Fitness+. If you use other Apple services in addition to Apple Music, these choices could be quite valuable.
Apple Music with Verizon
We have good news for Verizon Unlimited subscribers: You can get a free Apple Music membership.
As long as you have the 5G Get More Unlimited plan, Apple Music is included at no additional cost to you.
Additionally, you can receive a free six-month Individual membership. Currently, you need to be enrolled in a Verizon Unlimited Plan — Play More Unlimited in order to be eligible for the free six months. 5G, 5G Play More, 5G Do More Unlimited, and 5G Start Unlimited. Apple Music will cost $11 per line per month beyond the first six months. You will get access to the Apple Music library, be able to download songs for offline listening, and stream your preferred music over 5G, 4G LTE, or Wi-Fi, just like with an Apple membership.
Apple Music with discounted Apple gift cards
You can use Apple gift cards, including iTunes music cards, to pay for Apple Music subscriptions if you look at the available payment methods. This makes it possible to use cheap Apple gift cards to pay for your membership and save money. But finding them is the key.
You can search for certain retailer sales, such as Best Buy’s offer to purchase iTunes and the App Store gift cards. On occasion, a special promotion will include a gift card and four months of Apple Music for free.
Apple Music free deals for new buyers
Try to locate offers that give you free months when joining up as a new user, purchasing particular things, etc. if you’re a brand-new Apple Music member. Even though these agreements can change over time, some of the best current examples include:
- New subscribers to Apple Music are eligible for a promotion from Best Buy that is good for up to four months when they begin their subscription. To take advantage of this offer, all you need is a Best Buy account.
- As they did with Apple TV+ when it first launched, Apple also continues to offer free subscriptions on occasion to new purchasers of devices like Macs or iPhones.
- Purchases of more recent Apple headphones, such as the Air Pods, Air Pods Pro, Air Pods Max, or Beats, entitle new users to six months of Apple Music for free. Older models, like the original Air Pods and select Beats headphones, are ineligible.
How Apple Music compares to the competition
With 188 million Premium users worldwide compared to Apple Music’s 98 million, Spotify not only outperforms Apple Music in terms of global reach but also in the United States. Even so, Apple has a sizable following in America thanks to its 90 million song catalogue, 30,000 playlists, best-in-class human-run radio stations, and other exclusive content.
Music and podcast selection
When it comes to improved music discovery features, Spotify is head and shoulders above Apple, but its catalogue is a little bit smaller (although that difference is narrowing). The larger selection on Apple Music will appeal to many fans of diverse music. While Spotify tends to have more popular podcasts and has been promoting human-curated playlist content to compete with Apple’s live stations, Apple has exclusive releases and live radio stations. Both sites also let you download any streaming song for offline listening.
A 2021 update that added hundreds of new human-curated playlists for moods and activities made it much easier to find a playlist for just about anything, from dinner parties to a creative drawing session to snowboarding, making Apple’s playlists a little more detailed and personalized than Spotify’s. When you ask Siri to “Play more like this,” Apple has also improved Siri’s capabilities.
The two leading rivals are different in a few ways. The only one still offering a free version is Spotify, which accepts adverts in exchange for the ability to listen on-demand tunes (with certain restrictions on mobile devices but none on desktop). If you don’t want to pay anything for your music service, that makes the decision simple. If so, Apple Music’s Voice option is the least expensive one for now, however there are reports that Spotify is developing a comparable low-cost alternative at some point in the future.
In terms of audio format and quality, Apple is unquestionably in the lead: As part of the release of iOS 14, the company has already made a selection of tunes available in its spatial audio format (which pairs perfectly with the Air Pods Max headphones). However, Apple Music revealed spatial audio in the spring of 2021, along with Dolby Atoms Music support and lossless audio for all of its more than 90 million song back catalogue. Starting at CD quality, which is 16-bit at 44.1 kHz, lossless audio progresses to 24-bit at 48 kHz.