How much is Apple Music, and how can you get it for free?

If you’re in the market for a new music streaming service or perhaps looking to switch from one of the other players like Spotify or Tidal, you really can’t go wrong with Apple Music. With a catalog of over 100 million songs, all in high quality lossless audio at no extra cost, as well as a huge amount of albums and tracks in Dolby Atmos spatial audio, Apple has been a competitor in this field for almost as long Is. Music streaming has been a thing. And while it plays a close second to Spotify’s excellent UI and music search (as well as in global subscriptions), the music streamer is still a giant and is packed with great features, live shows, and exclusives that make it a solid option. makes. You are deciding who to go with.

But the biggest factor for most is how much it costs. Although there are some limited-time “free” options and a free trial you can take advantage of to check out Apple Music, if you stick with the service for a long time, you Desire Will have to be paid in the end. Let’s see how much Apple Music costs.

apple music plan

iPhones showing off Apple Music features.
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Before we consider the different pricing tiers offered by Apple Music, note that each subscription plan offers access to ad-free content, offline listening, Apple Music 1 live and on-demand radio shows, and the same catalog of exclusive releases. Provides access.

Sign up, and you can stream over 100 million songs (now offered in lossless audio at no extra charge) ad-free, as well as Dolby Atmos music tracks (which will be available on new Sonos speakers and Apple’s new HomePod. but are excellent). Well), exclusive playlists, a karaoke-like Apple Music Sing feature, and live radio that you can listen to on all your devices.

The main difference between the plans comes in the form of the Family Membership (more on this in a bit), which lets you create up to six individual accounts in one membership, which is billed as a flat fee per month – whether No matter how many people you add on.

Apple Music Individual – $11

To reiterate, Apple Music doesn’t have any free plans, so if you’re looking for the most basic way to get your foot in the door — or if you don’t qualify for the following discounts — you’ll need $11 per month. Individual membership of.

Eager to keep people on board, Apple also offers customers the option to pay in advance for a year of service for $109 – a $23 discount – which isn’t bad. However, you should always compare with alternative subscriptions (we talk more about this below with our Spotify comparisons). Note that users don’t always see the discounted annual plan option until they actually sign up for Apple Music on the monthly plan and go back into their subscription.

Apple Music Student Subscription – $6

Like Spotify, Apple Music offers half off Apple Music subscriptions to all students (with a valid student email address from a supported educational institution). This brings the monthly subscription payment down to a modest $6. This offer is currently available only for college students.

Apple HomePod 2023 in a home office.
Zeke Jones/

Apple Music Family Subscription – $17

Do you want to enroll up to six people in your household to an Apple Music plan? Subscribe to the Apple Music Family plan for $17 per month. This gives a total savings of $5 per month for two, $15 for three, $25 for four, $35 for five and $45 for six family members.

apple one

You also have the option to choose the Apple One plan, which bundles many of Apple’s services into multiple tiers of single discounted payment plans. This includes not only Apple Music but also Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, News+, and more. However, Apple increased the prices of these plans in October this year. Individual Apple One plans now start at $20 per month and come with 50GB of iCloud storage, Apple Music, and Arcade, while Apple One Family plans start at $26 per month and include up to five members and 200GB of iCloud storage. Is included. You can also sign up for a Premier plan that adds Apple Fitness+ and Apple News+ to the mix, as well as a whopping 3TB of iCloud storage for $38 per month. These options can provide a lot of value if you use other Apple services in conjunction with Apple Music.

Apple Music with Verizon

If you’re a Verizon Unlimited customer, we have some good news: You’re eligible for Free Apple Music Subscription.

If you’re on the 5G Get More Unlimited plan, you get Apple Music included for free as long as you have the plan.

You can also get six months of individual membership at no cost. Currently, to qualify for the free six months, you must sign up for an eligible Verizon Unlimited plan. After six months, Apple Music will cost $11 per month per line. With a subscription direct from Apple, you’ll get access to the Apple Music library, download songs for offline playback, and stream your favorite songs over 5G, 4G LTE, or Wi-Fi.

Apple Music with a discounted Apple gift card

If you look at the payment options for Apple Music subscriptions, you’ll see that you can use an Apple Gift Card to pay for Apple Music and everything else Apple does. This opens up a new way to save by paying for your subscription with a discounted Apple gift card. However, the main thing is to find them.

You can look for special store deals, like Best Buy’s offer for purchasing an Apple gift card. Sometimes, there will be a special promo that includes four months of Apple Music for free along with a gift card.

Apple Music free deal for new buyers

If you’re a brand new Apple Music customer, you should try to find deals that give you free months when you sign up as a new user, purchase specific products, etc. These deals may vary over time, but some top current examples include:

  • Best Buy is offering the deal for up to four months, which new or returning customers (they get three months) are eligible for when they start with Apple Music. The only thing you need to get this deal is a Best Buy account.
  • Apple also continues to occasionally offer free subscriptions to new buyers of products like Macs or iPhones, as they did with Apple TV+ when it debuted.
  • New customers become eligible for six months of free Apple Music when they purchase new Apple headphones (AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or Beats) or a HomePod or HomePod mini. Older generations, like first-generation AirPods and some Beats models, are not eligible.

How does Apple Music compare to competitors

A collage of music streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Spotify not only has the lead over Apple Music when it comes to global reach, but in the United States, it maintains its lead over Apple Music with its 210 million premium subscribers worldwide compared to Apple’s 98 million. But still, Apple is by no means lax, offering 100 million songs, 30,000 playlists and other exclusive content as well as best-in-class human-powered radio stations, giving it a wide fan base in the US. Is. Spotify recently increased its price (until July 2023) and brought it at par with Apple Music.

Music and Podcast Selection

Spotify is king over Apple when it comes to its advanced music-discovery tools, but its library is somewhat limited (although that gap is closing). Many eclectic music lovers will appreciate Apple Music’s extensive catalog. While Apple has exclusive releases and live radio stations, Spotify has more popular podcasts and is emphasizing human-curated playlist content to compete with Apple’s live stations. Both services also allow downloading any streaming track offline for later listening.

Some believe that Apple’s playlists are a bit more in-depth and personalized than those of Spotify and other major streamers like Amazon Music or YouTube Music, which, if we’re honest, both took a few pages from Spotify’s design playbook. Let’s take more. The 2021 update to Apple Music added hundreds of new human-curated playlists for moods and activities, making it much easier to find playlists for anything from dinner parties to creative drawing sessions to snowboarding. Apple also added enhanced Siri capabilities when you say to the assistant, “Play more like this.”

free version

Of the two top competitors, Spotify is the only one with a free version available, which still allows users to play tracks on-demand (with some limitations on mobile devices but no limitations on desktop) in exchange for ads. gives. This becomes an easy option if you don’t want to pay anything for your music service. The $5 per month Voice option used to be the least expensive in Apple Music, but the company abruptly discontinued it in November 2023. Amazon Music Free, Deezer, and YouTube Music also offer free, ad-based options.

sound quality

If audio format and quality are important to you, Apple is clearly at the top of the pack compared to Spotify, whose long-rumored hi-res level is still a no-show (though Bloomberg’s June 2023 report says That’s what this year is). That said, Apple Music is no longer one of the few high-resolution lossless games in town, with nearly every other service including Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, Qobuz, and Deezer offering lossless audio, up to CD quality (16 Starts with -). bit at 44.1kHz) and goes up from there depending on the service. If this is a game-changer for you, here’s how they all compare:

  • Apple Music: AAC, ALAC formats up to 24-bit/192kHz, plus 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 up to 24-bit/192 kHz
  • Deezer Premium: FLAC format up to 16-bit/44.1kHz
  • Qobuz: AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, WAV, WMA lossless formats up to 24-bit/192kHz

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