Correction: We’ve learned that Android users will indeed get to try Apple Music for free, both as a free three-month trial and in a free tier very similar to the one iOS users can enjoy. The only difference is that Apple Music radio stations (aside from the flagship Beats 1 station) won’t be included on Android. Here’s a handy chart:
See how “Signed in with Apple ID” has four items checked off? Simply remove the bottom one—“Listen to Apple Music Radio Stations”—to see what’ll be available in the limited free tier on Android.
At launch, Apple Music will come with two main tiers: free, with extremely limited functionality, and the $10/$15 per month paid options — unless, that is, you’re still stuck with a Droid.
Apple Music coming to Android is a huge deal — it shows that Apple is committed to making Apple Music a successful standalone project; it’s also a tacit acknowledgement that Android is a very real player in the smartphone world, and not just the butt of Tim Cook’s jokes at the WWDC keynote.
But Apple isn’t quite willing to sacrifice everything to make its music streaming service a success. While iOS users will get a free tier, mostly allowing users to listen to the Beats 1 radio station, and other Apple Music radio stations (with limited skipping), that option won’t be available to Android users.
That’s quite a major footnote to Apple’s generosity. Consider Spotify, which has around 60 million subscribers, 45 million of whom are on the free tier; or more importantly, Pandora, which focuses more on radio stations, has just 4% of its users on the premium tier. [Six Colors]
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