Apple Music has deepened its relationship with US-based telco Verizon – with long-term subscriptions to the platform being given away to consumers as part of their cell phone tariff.
Apple has previously offered a six-month ‘free trial’ to Apple Music with Verizon’s Unlimited tariffs. This new announcement goes further, handing customers of Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans a subscription to Apple Music on an ongoing basis.
Considering Verizon’s offer affects both new and existing customers of Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited, it could spell a significant boost for Apple Music’s numbers in the States. (In terms of subscriber numbers, Apple Music overtook Spotify in North America in Q2 last year.)
Verizon is the USA’s largest mobile telco operator, counting 153.97m customers in the market at the close of Q3 last year. At the same juncture, AT&T was the second biggest with 150.25m, with T-Mobile in third (77.25m) and Sprint (53.51m) in fourth.
T-Mobile offers its US customers a similar deal to Verizon/Apple Music’s ongoing subscription bundle, but with Netflix.
Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited plan starts at costs of $50 per month, per line, while Above Unlimited starts at costs $60 per month, per line (both plus taxes).
These prices are for customers who take out four lines/numbers at once; for individual users with just one number, the monthly fees rise to $85 (Beyond Unlimited) and $95 (Above Unlimited).
Music rights-holders, who will have licensed the free Apple Music bundle, will obviously hope to get as big a monetary share (or equivalent share) as possible of these price points.
Customers of Verizon’s more budget ($40pm-75pm) Go Unlimited tariff will continue to be offered a six month trial of Apple Music, but won’t receive free access to the streaming service on an ongoing basis.
Verizon’s new Apple Music tariff will be offered to the public from tomorrow (January 17).
(Below you can see how the three current lowest per-line Verizon tariffs stack up; the Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans previously offered six months of Apple Music, but are now being upgraded.)
“When we introduced six months free of Apple Music to Verizon Unlimited subscribers, we said it was just the beginning of a great collaboration between Verizon and Apple to bring music streaming to our loyal customers,” said Angie Klein, VP of Marketing at Verizon.
“Our customers loved the offer, so we’re expanding the value of our Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans by including Apple Music at the same plan price. You can stream more of the music you love on the network you deserve.”
Interestingly, some have raised the possibility of a telco like Verizon or its rivals being interested in buying a stake in Universal Music Group.
Universal parent Vivendi is currently searching for a buyer of up to 50% in the music company, with mooted front-runners including Tencent and Liberty Media.
Apple acquired UK-based A&R and music services company, Platoon, late last year.Music Business Worldwide