Stream film and tv from Apple TV Plus for less.
Apple Music is one of the most popular music streaming services – it already has a quarter of the market, just behind Spotify.
I’d expect a lot of this is down to the number of free trials and bonus month offers available. It’s also available on non-Apple devices, such as Android phones or Amazon Echo speakers.
Here’s how you can listen free, and after that how to pay as little as possible for the streaming service.
Apple Music cost
There are different payment tiers for Apple Music.
- Voice: £4.99 a month
- Student: £5.99 a month
- Individual: £10.99 a month
- Family £16.99 a month
Unlike Spotify there is no free option with adverts so you have to pay to listen.
New customer offers
3 month free trial
New users of Apple Music can sign up and get three months for free. After this you’ll be charged the full £10.99 each month unless you cancel. Sometimes this offer drops down to one month free.
One month free trial with Apple One
There’s a shorter one month free trial via Apple One, a bundle that includes
- Apple TV+
- Apple Music
- Apple Arcade
- Apple News+
- Apple Fitness+ (Premier plan only)
- iCloud+ (Premier plan only)
You’ll only get the free trial for services you’ve not already tried.
After the trial you’ll pay £16.95 a month as an individual, £22.95 a month for Family which can be shared with five other family members, and £32.95 for Premium which adds in News+ and Fitness+.
6 months free trial with purchase
If you buy an eligible Apple device you’ll get your first six months free. You’ll need to get one of the following:
- HomePod & HomePod mini
You can’t get this offer if you’ve previously had an Apple Music subscription.
You need to redeem the offer within 90 days of making your purchase. After the 6-month trial you’ll pay £10.99 a month unless you cancel.
Existing customer offers
Up to 4 months free via Shazam
New and past users can get up to 4 months free Apple Music via Shazam. Newbies should get the full four months while previous users will hopefully get two or three months free.
The offer comes and goes, but it’s worth a look.
Up to five months free via Barclaycard
New and existing Barclaycard customers can get up to five months free Apple Music. The offer ends 23 September 2023 and you need to redeem your code (sent via email) by 31 October 2023. You can only use one code per Apple account.
Existing users will get a reduced two free months, though newbies will get the full five months.
If you currently pay for Apple Music you’ll need to cancel your subscription before you can redeem the code.
This is alongside up to five free months for Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade (the length of these freebies depends on whether you’re a new or previous user of those services).
It’s not a reason to spend on a new credit card, but if you are going to get one, make sure you clear the balance in full every month to avoid getting charged interest.
Up to three months free via O2 / Virgin Media
If you have either O2 or Virgin Media then head to the O2 Priority app to get three months free Apple Music. It’s for new, previous or existing customers (in their last month) as long as they’ve not had a free deal via O2 before. Ends 18 September 2023.
One year for £109.99
If you subscribe upfront for a year you might be able to pay £109.99, effectively 12 months for the price of 10. There’s a chance this offer has ended, and if this option does still exist it’s not easy to find – you have to search in your settings.
Anyone on an iPhone or iPad needs to go to the Settings app, then click your name followed by subscriptions. You’ll see Apple Music listed, and when you hit that you’ll see the options available to you.
If you’re using a browser you can log in with your Apple ID and go to Settings in the menu to do the same.
Apple Music hacks
Split the cost
Apple Music has a Family tier that can be shared, meaning you and five others can get access to the subscription. If you split the cost between you that brings the cost down:
- Two people: £5.50 each
- Three people: £3.66 each
- Four people: £2.75 each
- Five people: £2.20 each
- Six people: 1.83 each
Change to Apple Music Voice
If you’re happy to use just Siri to play music rather than an Apple Music app you can cut your costs in half by opting for Apple Music Voice. It costs £4.99 a month.
So you’ll lose things like playlists and stations, but if you’re only using it to play music on an Apple speaker it might be worth it.
Apple Music+ vs Spotify, Amazon Music & Tidal
It’s a competitive music streaming market right now, and you could potentially go more than a year without paying if you had a trial at each service. The length of these can vary through the year, but I’ve put common lengths available below.
|Service||Amazon Music Unlimited||Amazon Prime Music||Apple Music||Spotify||Tidal|
|Possible free trial||1 to 3 months||30-days||1 to 5 months||1 to 3 months||1 to 3 months|
Everyday prices are relatively similar, with Family Plans on offer at most. There are other ways to bring the costs down for each of them. For details on how to do this, check out these individual articles.