Ever since Apple Music was launched on 30 June 2015, it has been possible to use the service free of charge for a trial period of three months. Until now: the period has finally been cut to a single month of free access.
It isn’t completely clear why Apple has made the change (spotted by
Mac Otakara), which is likely to reduce the influx of new users willing to give the service a try. The three-month trial was previously a point of difference for the company, with most rivals, including Spotify, offering just one month as their standard trial period.
Some reports suggest that Apple made the change in order to reduce its losses.
When the free trial was first announced, it turned out that the company simply
wouldn’t pay artists any royalties for music streamed as part of free trials: in effect, musicians rather than Apple itself were the ones generously offering customers a free trial of their music. One executive
argued that the service’s higher royalty percentages were intended to make up for this initial shortfall, but that argument didn’t go down well, with Taylor Swift among the policy’s most high-profile critics, and Apple subsequently backed down. But that does mean that it has been making a loss on every free trial ever since.
If that’s why the trial has been shortened, however, it’s something of a delayed reaction. Swift wrote her famous
open letter back in 2015, and Apple
gave in to her demands later in the same year.
The change applies in all countries where Apple Music is available, but it should be noted that this only applies to the standard free-trial offer. You may be able to find a better offer in specific circumstances: for example, those who buy AirPods or certain Beats headphones can try the Apple Music service for free for six months.
We discuss that deal, and others, in our guide explaining
how to get Apple Music for free. Plus we have seen that you can
get two months free trial with Shazam.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation (using
DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.