Apple Music doesn’t have a free tier — outside of the three-month trial it offers new customers, that is. So when the experience comes to an end, you have three options: Fork out for a subscription, switch to a free competitor, or ditch streaming.
If you decide to stick with Apple Music, we’d recommend taking a look at all the different pricing options available before rushing into a basic $10-per-month membership. Who knows? You could just end up leaving with a subscription for free.
Apple Music Plans
Before we dive into the different pricing tiers Apple Music has to offer, we should note that all the subscriptions offer access to the same catalog of ad-free content, offline listening, Beats 1 live and on-demand radio shows, and exclusive releases.
They also bundle the option to download up to 100,000 songs to your iTunes library, tap into saved and on-demand material from a myriad of mobile devices — be it Android or iOS; Mac or Windows — and watch original shows and concerts.
The main difference comes in the form of the Family membership (more on that in a bit), which lets you create up to six individual accounts in a subscription that’s billed as one flat fee per month — regardless of how many people you bolt on.
Apple Music Individual
To reiterate, Apple Music doesn’t have a free plan, 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’re going to need a $10-per-month Individual subscription.
Keen to lock people in, Apple offers customers the option to pay for a year’s worth of service upfront for $99 — a discount of $21 — which isn’t bad, but with new platforms popping up left, right, and center, do you really want to be tied down?
Apple Music Student
Just like Spotify, Apple offers all students (with a valid student email address from a supported educational institution) half off their Apple Music membership. If math isn’t your strong suit, that drops the monthly payment down to a modest $5.
Apple Music Family
Looking to sign up to six people in your household up to Apple Music? Subscribe to the $15-per-month Family plan. That works out to a total savings of $5 per month for two members, $15 for three, $25 for four, $35 for five, and $45 for six.
Apple Music with Verizon
If you’re a Verizon Unlimited customer, we have some good news: You’re eligible for a free Apple Music subscription. That’s right — you can score a six-month Individual membership for the low, low price of absolutely nothing per month.
How Apple Music compares to the competition
While Spotify is king on the worldwide stage, Apple Music takes home the crown in the United States, enjoying the highest number of paying subscribers in the region. Why? Because of its exclusive content and local human-run radio stations.
All in all, Spotify and Apple Music are neck and neck, with the former’s music-discovery tools putting it an inch ahead. Apple Music’s larger catalog, exclusive releases, and fantastic Beats 1 radio options make it a serious contender, though.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say that if music discovery isn’t your speed, it’s Apple Music for the win.