If you’re looking to listen to a particular song or album in 2019, chances are you’re not going to run out and buy a CD like you might have 10 years ago — you’re probably going to opt for a music-streaming service instead. If you already own some Apple products, you may be drawn to Apple Music, which offers on-demand access to millions of songs and exclusive artists, plus your entire iTunes library, across all your devices. But how much does the service actually cost?
All of Apple Music’s plans are actually quite affordable, but depending on how many people you’d like to have access to your account, or if you happen to be a college student, there are a few additional options worth checking out. Below, we outline how much each plan costs and what it entails.
Apple Music Plans
Individual ($10 a month)
If you’re just one person, or don’t like the idea of sharing your music library with anyone else, you’re probably going to want to opt for the standard plan. The Individual plan gives you access to 50 million songs, plus your entire iTunes library. It also comes with exclusive content, not to mention the ability to download your favorite tracks for offline playback. Currently, the Individual plan will set you back $10 a month.
You can also pay $99 for a 12-month Individual subscription, if you’re willing to pay that cost upfront, which would we definitely recommend as it will save you about $20 over the course of a year.
Family ($15 a month)
The Individual plan is your best bet if you’re the only one planning to use your Apple Music account, but if you want anyone else to have access to your songs, the Family plan is the way to go. For a mere $15 a month, you can net six personal accounts, along with the ability to share your iTunes purchases. The same perks found in the Individual plan — 50 million songs, offline playback, ad-free listening, etc. — also extend to the Family plan.
Student ($5 a month)
Like most subscriptions, Apple offers a discounted version of Apple Music to current college students or anyone with a verifiable email from an academic institution. This includes teachers and other academic personnel as well, so long as you have access to a .edu email address. The student plan is $5 a month and provides the same features as the Individual plan, granting you access to a range of features and exclusive content.
Free three-month trial
If you’re unsure whether Apple Music is right for you, you can use the service for free for up to three months. You will need to provide a credit card number, and your plan will automatically renew after the trial period ends, but so long as you remember to cancel it if you decide the service isn’t for you, it can be a good way to try out Apple Music without any commitment.
Through your wireless provider
Certain cell phone providers may also offer free or discounted subscriptions to Apple Music if you have a qualifying plan. For example, Verizon users in the U.S. can get up to six months of Apple Music for free just for using Verizon and then will be charged the same $10 per month for the Individual plan after that initial period ends.
For more information about what providers offer Apple Music bundles, call your service provider or visit Apple’s website.
How Apple Music compares to the competition
The competition for mainstream music-streaming sites is quickly dwindling. While a few niche websites are still hanging around — ahem, Tidal — Apple Music remains one of the best. Spotify is another viable option, but it’s hard to beat the app integration and the ability to access your iTunes library offered by Apple Music, especially when you consider that Apple’s subscriptions are comparable in price to Spotify’s.
Also, if you’re a frequent flyer with American Airlines, opting for Apple Music over say, Spotify, may work to your advantage, as the two companies recently announced a partnership that gives passengers free Wi-Fi access to their Apple Music accounts.