Apple quietly retires one of its Apple Music tiers

Apple Music plans with HomePod Mini and AirPods.

Apple is shutting down its Voice plan for Apple Music, which let people select tracks using Siri, for $5 a month — less than half the cost of the regular plan.

The tech giant introduced its most affordable Apple Music plan in 2021, but said in a message on its website on Wednesday that it is ending the ability to sign up for it, effective immediately.

Current customers of Voice for Apple Music can use the service until the end of their billing period. The auto-renew function has been turned off.

Apple is encouraging people on a Voice plan to consider switching to one of the Personal, Student or Family plans, or signing up for Apple One, a bundle that includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, and more.

It’s unclear why Apple is retiring Voice, but it’s possible that take-up wasn’t as good as it hoped.

The Siri-powered voice tier was useful for people who primarily listened to music in their car or on the HomePod, where they simply called out the track, with no regard for the library or visual interface.

However, voice comes with a number of limitations, which may prove frustrating for some customers. For example, it has a small visual interface with no access to lyrics or music videos. You can’t even create a playlist. Downloading for offline listening is also not possible, and if you navigate through the interface and select a song, it will only play a preview of it – you’ll have to ask Siri to play the full track. The Voice also lacks features like spatial audio for a premium listening experience.

But remember, whether you’re an Apple Music subscriber or not, you can still ask Siri to play specific songs, so the feature will remain available to those who want to use it. It’s just that to access Apple’s entire music library you now have to pay at least $11 per month, or $6 if you’re a student.

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