Photo Credit: Ivan Bandura
After a short two years, Apple has quietly discontinued its voice only plan for Apple Music. Here’s why.
Apple says it is focused on delivering the best possible experience it can for Apple Music users. “All Apple Music plans already work seamlessly with Siri, and we will continue to optimize this experience,” the blog post making the announcement reads. Apple says it is turning off auto-renew for existing subscribers to its Voice plan, so those using it won’t be charged again. If you only have an Apple Music Voice plan, you’ll need to switch to Individual, Student, or a Family plan to continue using it after the final billing cycle for the Voice Plan.
Users on a free trial of the Voice Plan may continue that free trial through the duration of their first billing cycle. After that ends, users will receive a notification suggesting a switch to another Apple Music plan. Apple is quick to point out that users can use Siri to request music from Apple Music to play any song, album, playlist, radio station, or more.
Apple doesn’t break out its subscriber numbers for Apple Music, but it’s likely this voice-only plan didn’t see enough adoption to make continued support worth it. Users could ask about the voice plan using Siri, then subscribe and play music on any Siri-enabled device including HomePod mini, AirPods, iPhone, and other Apple devices.
At the time, Apple Music said it added hundreds of mood and activity playlists, so users could ask for specific themes. “Play something chill” and “Play a dinner party playlist” were some of the examples cited in Apple’s original announcement.
While the playlists were developed with the Voice Plan in mind, anyone who pays for Apple Music can access and listen to those mood-inspired playlists. Apple also has its curated favorites playlists like New Music Daily, Rap Life, Today’s Hits, Today’s Country, A-List Pop, R&B Now, and many more.
At launch, the Apple Music voice plan was only available across 17 countries and regions. They included Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The trimmed down plan did not include access to what Apple said were its premium offerings, including spatial audio, lossless audio, lyrics, music videos, and more.
With the death of Apple Music’ voice-only plan, now the only sub $10 music subscription on offer is from Amazon Music Unlimited with its $4.99 tier. This tier only allows users to listen to Amazon Music using an Echo or Fire TV device—limiting the service to the home in the same way Apple Music’s voice plan was home-focused.