At $9.99/£9.99/AU$11.99 each month we wouldn’t exactly call Apple Music expensive, given that it provides unlimited access to millions of songs. But it could be getting significantly cheaper, with a price drop of up to 20% possibly in the works.
That’s according to Digital Music News, which claims to have heard it from “a pair of sources working closely with the streaming service.”
The site only talks about Apple Music’s US pricing, so it’s not clear if this would apply to the rest of the world, but supposedly the single person rate could drop to $7.99 (presumably £7.99/AU$9.59), while family packages could drop from $14.99/£14.99/AU$17.99 to $12.99 (likely £12.99/AU$15.59). Student memberships would supposedly remain at $4.99/£4.99/AU$5.99.
The new rate could apparently start as a promotional discount over Christmas, but those subscribing at the new rate are likely to hold onto it permanently, while existing users may also be transitioned to the new rate.
The move is supposedly motivated by steep competition from Amazon Music Unlimited, which offers US Prime members a $7.99 (around £6.50/AU$10) monthly membership, which drops to just $3.99 (roughly £3.50/AU$5) if you only stream to an Amazon Echo.
Amazon Music Unlimited is currently US-only, but it’s expanding to the UK and elsewhere before the end of the year, which suggests Apple’s own price drop won’t be limited to the US either.
That is, if it happens at all. Digital Music News doesn’t have a flawless track record with Apple leaks and its sources aren’t inside Apple, the site also notes that the changes are still under discussion.
Record labels also surely aren’t going to want to lose income as a result of the change, so Apple could have to cover the difference itself, potentially losing money in the short term.
So with all that in mind we’re not convinced that it will happen, but if it does it could give Apple Music the lift it needs to become the dominant force in streaming audio.