Apple Music pricing and free access | ENBLE

Apple Music pricing and free access | ENBLE

Apple Music: A Comprehensive Guide to Pricing and Features

Apple Music Examples

Are you in search of the perfect music streaming service? Look no further than Apple Music. With a massive catalog of over 100 million songs, high-quality lossless audio, and the immersive Dolby Atmos spatial audio experience, Apple Music is a top contender in the streaming world. While it may trail behind Spotify in terms of user interface and global subscriptions, Apple Music more than makes up for it with its cool features, live shows, and exclusives. However, one of the biggest considerations for many users is the cost. So, let’s take a closer look at how much Apple Music really costs and the various pricing tiers it offers.

Apple Music Plans

Before diving into the pricing details, it’s important to note that all Apple Music subscription plans offer the same benefits, including access to an extensive catalog of ad-free content, offline listening, Apple Music 1 live and on-demand radio shows, and exclusive releases. Regardless of which plan you choose, you’ll have access to more than 100 million songs in high-quality lossless audio and Dolby Atmos spatial audio.

Apple Music Individual — $11 per month

If you’re looking for the most basic plan and don’t qualify for any discounts, the Individual subscription is priced at a reasonable $11 per month. For those willing to commit to a year, Apple also offers a discounted annual plan for $109, saving you $23. However, I recommend comparing these prices with alternative subscription services to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money.

Apple Music Student Subscription — $6 per month

Similar to Spotify, Apple Music offers a special student discount. Students with a valid student email address from a supported educational institution can subscribe for just $6 per month.

Apple HomePod Zeke Jones/Digital Trends

Apple Music Family Subscription — $17 per month

For those looking to include multiple family members in their Apple Music plan, the Family subscription is an excellent choice. Priced at $17 per month, this plan allows you to create up to six individual accounts within a single subscription. The more family members you add, the more significant the savings become. For instance, with four family members, you’ll save $25 per month compared to individual subscriptions.

Apple Music Voice — $5 per month

Apple Music also offers the Voice plan, which provides an alternative option for users. Priced at $5 per month, this plan is audio-only and can only be activated and controlled using Siri on Siri-enabled devices, primarily Apple devices. While Voice plan users have access to all the audio songs on Apple Music, they won’t be able to watch music videos or view lyrics. This plan is perfect for more casual users who primarily listen to music through HomePods, AirPods, or CarPlay.

Apple One

If you’re a fan of multiple Apple services, Apple One plans might be the way to go. These plans combine Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, and more into a single discounted payment. Individual Apple One plans start at $17 per month and come with 50GB of iCloud storage. The Family plan starts at $23 per month and includes up to five members and 200GB of iCloud storage. For those seeking additional services, the Premier plan adds Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+ along with a whopping 3TB of iCloud storage.

Apple Music with Verizon

Verizon Unlimited customers have something to rejoice about. If you’re on the 5G Get More Unlimited plan, you receive a free Apple Music subscription as long as you have the plan. Additionally, qualifying Verizon customers can also enjoy a six-month Individual membership free of charge. After the six months, Apple Music will cost $11 per month per line. With this subscription, you’ll have access to the entire Apple Music library, the ability to download songs for offline playback, and seamless streaming over 5G, 4G LTE, or Wi-Fi.

Apple Music with discounted Apple Gift Cards

If you’re looking for a way to save on your Apple Music subscription, consider paying with discounted Apple Gift Cards. Some stores, like Best Buy, occasionally offer deals where you can buy Apple Gift Cards with special promotions that include free Apple Music subscriptions for a limited time.

Apple Music free deals for new buyers

As a new Apple Music subscriber, you should keep an eye out for deals that offer free months of service. Sometimes, purchasing specific products or signing up as a new user can unlock these offers. For example, Best Buy currently offers up to four months of Apple Music for new or returning subscribers. Additionally, Apple occasionally offers free subscriptions for new buyers of products like Macs or iPhones.

How Apple Music Compares to the Competition

Music Streaming Services Collage

When it comes to global reach, Spotify holds the lead with 210 million Premium subscribers worldwide compared to Apple’s 98 million. However, Apple Music is far from being overshadowed. With its extensive catalog of 100 million songs, 30,000 playlists, and best-in-class human-run radio stations, Apple Music has built a substantial fan base, especially in America. Spotify recently increased its pricing to be on par with Apple Music, making the two services even more comparable.

Music and podcast selection

Spotify excels in music discovery tools, but its library may be slightly more limited compared to Apple Music. Apple Music caters well to eclectic music lovers with its broader catalog. While Apple Music offers exclusive releases and live radio stations, Spotify focuses on popular podcasts and human-curated playlist content. Both services allow offline downloads for any streaming track.

Free version

Spotify remains the only major player that offers a free version of its service, albeit with some limitations and ads. If you prefer not to pay for a music service, Spotify’s free version is an attractive option. Alternatively, Apple Music’s Voice plan provides an affordable audio-only experience for only $5 per month. Other options, such as Amazon Music Free, Deezer, and YouTube Music, also offer free, ad-based plans.

Sound quality

For users who prioritize audio quality, Apple Music takes the lead. While Spotify has yet to introduce its long-rumored hi-res tier, Apple Music provides a range of audio formats, including AAC and ALAC at up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as Dolby Atmos Music. However, Apple Music is no longer the only player in the hi-res lossless game. Other services like Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, Qobuz, and Deezer also offer lossless audio, starting at CD quality (16-bit at 44.1kHz) and going up from there. Here’s a comparison of the available formats across different services:

  • Apple Music: AAC, ALAC formats at up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as Dolby Atmos Music
  • Tidal HiFi: AAC, ALAC, FLAC, MQA formats at 16-bit/44.1kHz (HiFi) and 24-bit/96kHz (HiFi Plus), as well as 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos Music.
  • Amazon Music HD: FLAC format at up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Deezer Premium: FLAC format at up to 16-bit/44.1kHz
  • Qobuz: AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV, WMA Lossless formats at up to 24-bit/192kHz

In conclusion, Apple Music offers a compelling range of plans and features that cater to various needs and preferences. While Spotify may have the upper hand in global subscriptions and music discovery, Apple Music’s extensive catalog, high-quality audio, and exclusive offerings make it an enticing choice for music enthusiasts. Consider your priorities, budget, and usage habits when deciding between the two, and don’t forget to explore any available discounts or promotions to make the most of your Apple Music experience.