Skip to main content

Apple quietly retires one of its Apple Music tiers

Apple Music plan with HomePod Mini and AirPods.

Apple is retiring its Voice plan for Apple Music that lets people use Siri to select tracks 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 on Wednesday said in a message on its website that it’s ending the ability to sign up to it with immediate effect.

Current subscribers to 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 those on the Voice plan to switch either Individual, Student, or Family, or to consider signing up for Apple One, a bundle that includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, and more.

It’s not clear why Apple is retiring Voice, but it’s possible the take-up wasn’t as great as it had hoped.

The Siri-powered Voice tier was useful for those who mainly listened to music in their car or on a HomePod where they just called out tracks, with a library or visual interface being of little importance.

Voice comes with a bunch of limitations, though, which may have proved frustrating for some subscribers. For example, it has a pared-down visual interface with no access to lyrics or music videos. You can’t even make playlists. Downloading for offline listening isn’t possible either, and if you navigate via the interface and select a song, it’ll only play a preview of it – to play the full track you have to ask Siri. Voice also lacks features such as Spatial Audio for a premium listening experience.

Whether you’re a subscriber to Apple Music or not, you can still ask Siri to play particular songs, but only if they’re among your purchased or imported tracks. But to access Apple’s full music library, you’ll now have to pay at least $11 a month, or $6 if you’re a student.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
What is a network music streamer and why do you need one?
The Yamaha WCX-50 network music streamer.

CDs and vinyl records are two physical audio formats that some folks swear by, especially when it comes to sound quality. But even the most tenacious audiophiles have come around to the excellent sound quality now available on digital streaming services, so much so that digital audio has become the primary way we consume our music. But with the range of hi-fi setups people have at home, new and old, one of the best ways to bring your digital audio and online streaming services to them is by adding a dedicated network music streamer.

A network music streamer is an internet-connected hardware component that streams your favorite digital music using an internet connection. A good network music streamer is easy to use, compatible with several file formats and music streaming services, and will ensure your digital music sounds good to appease both casual listeners and esteemed decibel sages.

Read more
Fubo tweaks its plans again, and actually lowers price of one tier
FuboTV app icon on Apple TV.

It's pretty common to see streaming services increase prices every now and then. More rare is seeing prices go down. But that's exactly what's happened with one of the tiers on Fubo.

Fubo (it's no longer called FuboTV) is one of the smaller live streaming services in the U.S., with just over 1.1 million subscribers as of mid-2023. But it's also one of the only ones that offers more than one tier of service. And its most expensive tier has just been renamed, and has a new price to go with it.

Read more
Apple TV+ and other Apple One services get a price hike
A hand holding an iPhone with the Apple TV+ and other services in a menu.

Subscribers to Apple TV+ are about to get a big surprise as Apple today raised the price of its Apple TV+ streaming service for the second time in its four-year history, hiking it from $7 to $10 per month. Its annual subscription rate also goes from $69 to $99.

The new prices quietly appeared on the company's website today, but Apple TV+ isn't the only service in its roster to see a price increase: Apple's gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, has gone from $5 per month to $7 per month and its news subscription, Apple News+ goes from $10 per month to $13 per month. This is the first time either of those services has had their prices increased.

Read more