Apple Music Voice plan is being discontinued

Nov 2, 2023

Apple has announced that it is discontinuing the Apple Music Voice plan. You know, the plan that only let you listen to music when you asked Siri to play some songs? That's the one that's going away.

The main problem with this was Siri itself, the digital assistant was the only way to control the playback. The Apple Music Voice subscription was launched in 2021, and it never really made sense, considering that the regular Apple Music plan supported Siri, and actually allowed you to use the Music app on your iPhone, Mac and iPad.

Apple probably wanted to compete with Amazon Echo powered by Alexa, and perhaps thought it could do the same with its HomePod and Car Play. Well, anyone who has ever used Siri will know how that would have worked. To call Siri a mess is an understatement. Alexa and Google Assistant are better than Siri, and that's probably because they have a lot more data to train their AI with. Siri uses Apple's Neural Engine and on-device machine learning for privacy, which maybe the reason why it is not very good as the others. You can't collect data from users, and you can't improve the service without the data.  Still, I'd rather Apple sticks to its privacy policies and just get rid of Siri. Anyway, that's a different topic, let's get back to Apple Music.

Apple Music Voice was only available in the following Countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. MacRumors reports (via MacMagazine) that Apple has published a support document on its website about discontinuing Apple Music Voice. The entry-level subscription, which was priced at $4.99, is being discontinued immediately. Current Voice subscribers will be able to continue with their plan for the duration of their final billing cycle.

Scrapping the Apple Music Voice plan could be the reason why the Cupertino company did not hike the price of the regular Apple Music subscription, when it recently increased the prices of Apple TV+, Arcade, and News+ digital services.

Apple Music plan features comparison

The only issue with the removal of the Apple Music Voice plan is that the next option that is available for most users costs twice as much. I'm talking about the Apple Music Individual plan, which is available for $10.99 per month. Apple also offers two other plans; the Apple Music Student plan costs $5.99 / month, while the Apple Music Family plan costs $16.99 a month, but allows 6 accounts to use the service simultaneously.

You might think that the $10.99 price tag for Apple Music seems too high, but it is in the same ballpark of its competitors. YouTube Music costs $11.99 per month, and is also bundled in YouTube Premium plan that costs $13.99. Spotify Premium costs $10.99 a month. Amazon Music Unlimited has a price tag of $10.99 / month for non-Prime users, and $9.99 / month for Prime members. Amazon still has a single-device plan for Echo and Fire TV devices which costs $4.99 / month.

Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and offer a maximum bit rate of 256 kbps. Only Spotify Premium has a higher audio quality, 320 kbps, via its desktop and mobile apps, it is limited to 256 kbps on the web. The rest of the features that each service offer vary across the board. Apple Music is pretty good, it added support for Apple Music Classical as part of a single subscription, and even released a dedicated app for it on both Android and iOS. I don't think many people would miss the Apple Music Voice plan.

Apple Music Voice plan is being discontinued
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Apple Music Voice plan is being discontinued
The Siri-focused Apple Music Voice plan is being discontinued from this month.
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  1. James said on November 6, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    > I don’t think many people would miss the Apple Music Voice plan.

    I will!!! It suited me perfectly and was actually quite reasonable, compared with the full-fat options.

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