Starting Jan. 17, Apple Music will be included in Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans, the telco announced Tuesday. For Apple, the bundling agreement promises to augment its subscriber base as it battles Spotify and others in the competitive music-streaming market.
Last August, Verizon introduced an offer giving all customers on unlimited plans six months of Apple Music for free. Customers choosing Verizon’s cheapest unlimited-data tier, Go Unlimited, can still get six months of Apple Music free (after which it will cost the regular $9.99 per month).
Apple Music as of November 2018 had 56 million total subscribers (including paid and free-trial users), according to a Financial Times report. It’s still well behind Spotify, which reported 87 million paid subs worldwide as of the end of the third quarter of 2018.
For wireless carriers — who are themselves fighting fiercely to win and retain customers — content bundles have become a key marketing factor. T-Mobile includes Netflix for customers on unlimited family plans, and Sprint has a similar bundling agreement for Hulu’s ad-supported tier. AT&T gives unlimited-plan subscribers access to more than 30 live TV channels via its WatchTV package and throws in a choice of free access to one of seven premium services: HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium or VRV (the online-video bundle from Ellation, housed in AT&T’s Otter Media group).
Under the new Verizon agreement with Apple, customers on Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited packages can access Apple Music’s over 50 million tracks by either streaming them over 4G LTE or Wi-Fi, or by downloading songs for offline playback.
Apple Music subscribers can access the service on multiple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, PCs and Macs, HomePod, CarPlay and Android devices. Last month, Amazon announced a partnership to bring Apple Music to the Echo line of smart speakers.
Verizon’s Above Unlimited plan starts at $100 per line per month ($60 per line with auto-pay on an account with four lines) and includes 75 GB of 4G LTE data along with HD video streaming, 20 GB of mobile hotspot data, and 500 GB of Verizon Cloud storage. Beyond Unlimited starts at $90 per line per month ($50 per line with auto-pay and four lines) and includes 22 GB of LTE data with HD video and 15 GB of mobile hotspot data.