Apple Music cuts its free trial period from 3 months to 1 month

Apple Music one-month free trial offer.
Apple Music's free trial period now lasts for one month. (Image credit: Apple)

You've now got less time to decide whether or not Apple Music is the music streaming service for you: from this point on, users signing up for a free trial only get one month of listening without paying, down from the previous three months.

Apple hasn't announced the shift but it was spotted by Japanese blog Mac Otakara. It's the first change to the free trial period since Apple Music was first unveiled to take on the likes of Spotify, back in June 2015.

The pricing of the service remains unchanged, with subscribers having to pay $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 a month for the full Apple Music experience, and $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$5.99 for the recently launched Apple Music Voice plan, where everything is controlled through Siri.

6-month offer

As before, you can't take up more than one free trial with the same Apple ID – you get one shot to see what Apple Music has to offer, and then you have to either start paying for the service or forget about it.

You can currently get Apple Music free for six months if you're a new subscriber by picking up certain Apple audio devices: AirPods, Beats headphones, and the HomePod Mini are currently included in the deal, which seems to be for a limited time only.

It seems that the change applies to every country where Apple Music is available, which is more than 150 at the last count. One month is the standard trial period for other music streaming services as well, although some of them offer a free tier.

Opinion: give us a free Apple Music tier

There are more ways than ever to get at the music you love, from buying vinyl records to telling your Amazon Echo speaker what you'd like to hear – and Apple Music, like the other music streaming services out there, has to work hard to keep attracting users.

However, unlike several other competitors – including Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube Music – Apple doesn't let anyone in for free. The free tiers available elsewhere are limited in terms of playlist control and offline syncing, and they come with plenty of ads, but you don't have to pay a penny to use them.

While we're not privy to the details of how effectively these free plans get users to eventually sign up for a full subscription, Apple would certainly get a lot more people on board with a cut-down version of Apple Music that everyone could access indefinitely.

What does set Apple apart from the rest is that it already has a traditional digital music business: many potential Apple Music subscribers are likely to have curated digital music libraries already, which may be why Apple doesn't think having a completely free tier is going to move the needle too much in terms of attracting new business.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.