Apple Music is now even more free – if you pick the right mobile operator

Apple Music is already generously offering consumers three months of free access around the world.

Now it’s extending that free trial to 12 months in Australia – so long as you’re willing to switch your mobile network to local player Telstra.

A new Apple-endorsed bundle from the operator offers users a full year free to Apple Music if they sign up to either its 12-month or 24-month Go Mobile Plan on iPhone.

Specifically, that’s iPhone 6, meaning users are tied into owning Apple’s latest phone, as well as its latest bid to rule the digital music marketplace.

As well as Apple Music, Telstra’s deal promises “4G speeds across the largest 4G coverage area of any mobile network in Australia”.

The Telstra bundle is highly significant not just for the Aussie consumers it may bring to AM, but because it’s untypical of Apple to tie users into a first-party subscription service this way.

That means we can likely expect to see similar deals cropping up in major territories such as the US, Germany and UK – where Spotify offers a premium subs bundle deal in conjunction with market leader Vodafone for £5 extra a month.

It appears that clever Telstra users might actually be able to squeeze 15 months free out of the Apple Music deal, by taking advantage of the app’s standard three-month free trial first.

The T’s and C’s of the Telstra bundle state: ‘Any existing Apple Music trial offer will be cancelled when you take up the Telstra Offer.’

It adds: ‘If you sign up and agree to T&Cs to put Apple Music on your Telstra account this will roll on to a paying subscription at the end of the trial… unless you cancel it. You will receive an SMS 3 days prior to rolling over to a paid subscription.’

Meanwhile, conversations over Apple’s relationship with mobile operators are also about to get a lot more interesting for another headline-grabbing reason.

According to the ever-excellent Business Insider, the Cupertino giant is in talks to launch its own Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the US and EU.

What this essentially means is Apple renting mobile space from established players and selling it direct to the consumer, very possibly packaged up as ‘Apple Mobile’ or something even more on-brand.

BI reports that Apple first filed patents for its own MVNO in 2006, and has since extended it.

Is this merely a more seamless route for Apple to sell connected devices – and bundled subscription packages?

Or is it a serious first step to taking on Vodafone, Sprint, T-Mobile et al?

Whatever’s going on, Apple Music’s at the centre of proceedings. Watch this space.Music Business Worldwide

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