Apple Executive Rules Out Possibility of Free Apple Music Tier With Ads
Segal was answering questions to British members of parliament in the UK's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport committee, alongside representatives from Spotify and Amazon, about the economics of streaming services. The trio of representatives was asked about the price of their subscriptions, and their thoughts about free tiers for their services.
Spotify and Amazon both offer free tiers for their music streaming services, however, the experience includes frequent interruptions with ads and limited in-app features. On whether Apple would introduce a free tier for Apple Music with ads, Segal says that a free tier wouldn't generate enough revenue to "support a healthy overall ecosystem," and that it "also really goes against our fundamental values on privacy."
At a FAQ section on the Apple Music webpage, when asked whether the service has commercials, Apple emphatically says "Apple Music has zero ads." An ad-free listening experience has always been a cornerstone of Apple's marketing for the service, and while it was unlikely a free-tier with ads would ever launch, the confirmation from an Apple executive will now put to rest any simmering hope.
Apple doesn't have tiers for Apple Music that offer different features, such as some of its competitors. Instead, Apple's pricing model around the service is based on users' personal needs. For a single user, Apple Music costs $9.99 a month, a family plan which allows up to six members is $14.99 a month, and students get a discounted $4.99 per month plan. Additionally, Apple Music is part of Apple One, a bundle that offers customers a set monthly price for access to different Apple services.
Apple One includes three separate plans, each offering Apple Music. The lowest plan costing $14.95, includes access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage. The mid-tier for $19.95, adds an extra 150GB of iCloud storage, and the highest tier for $29.95, offers 2TB of storage, the ability to share with five other family members, and access to Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ (where available).