Apple has quietly added an annual subscription option for its streaming service Apple Music, offering users 12 months for $99.99.
The option was previously only available through gift cards, but is now accessible to all Apple Music customers in perhaps a move to further challenge rivals Spotify and Pandora.
Apple Music Adds Annual Subscription Option
Apple Music subscribers now have the option of signing up for a full-year subscription for $99, which translates to about $8.25 per month. Previously, the music streaming service only offered monthly subscriptions of $9.99 for regular users, $14.99 for family plans, and $4.99 for students. This means that the annual subscription will allow users to save about $20 over a full year, basically making two months of the year free.
The equivalent $8.25 monthly fee for the annual subscription is significantly lower than the rates for Spotify and Pandora. Similar to Apple Music, its rival music streaming platforms only offer monthly subscriptions, also at $9.99 each.
The annual subscription option, however, appears to only be available for existing subscribers. New users are only seeing the monthly subscription options, so for customers looking to jump into Apple Music, you will have to take a one-month subscription and then jump into an annual subscription after the first month.
There are also no annual membership options for family and student plans, as the offer is only available for individual subscribers.
How To Sign Up For Apple Music Annual Subscription
The option to sign up for an annual subscription to Apple Music, however, is not easy to discover. Navigating through a series of menus, however, is well worth it for an extra $20 in savings for a year of Apple Music.
Apple Music subscribers will first need to launch the App Store app and go to the Featured tab. At the bottom, users will need to tap their Apple ID and choose the View Apple ID option after entering their password. One of the buttons that will appear is for Subscriptions, which will allow users to access their membership settings for Apple Music. The one-year individual subscription should appear as one of the options.
Apple Music vs. Spotify, Pandora
Apple's launch of a $99 annual subscription option for Apple Music is its latest move in challenging Spotify and Pandora. Spotify also offers 12-month gift cards similar to the one that inspired Apple's new offer, but the price is the same as paying for 12 months of a Spotify subscription.
Spotify recently revealed that it has reached 140 million users, supported by the platform's ad-supported model. Its user base is almost double those of Pandora and Apple Music, a fact that may have pushed Apple to release a better offer for its music streaming service.
Apple is also looking to close the gap between Apple Music and Spotify through original content. Apple launched its first original show, Planet of the Apps, on Apple Music earlier this month, while James Corden's Carpool Karaoke, which features various celebrities as they sing in a car while driving, will launch on the platform in August.