In late 2021, Apple announced three new HomePod mini colors alongside the Apple Music Voice plan, which was unlike anything else Apple had offered. Half the price of a regular Apple Music subscription (at that time), it was Apple’s plan to tackle Spotify’s free tier with ads.
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Unlike an individual Apple Music subscription, which gives you full access to the service, the Apple Music Voice plan could only be used with Siri. You could ask the assistant to play songs, playlists, and stations, and it only worked with Apple devices. So, if you were using Apple Music with an Android phone or on a smart TV, you couldn’t take advantage of this subscription.
This cheaper plan had other disadvantages, such as no lossless audio or Dolby Atmos support, and no Apple Music Classical. It seemed as though the plan was pretty much only for users who wanted a HomePod with a built-in music service, since people couldn’t even download songs.
The Apple Music Voice plan was released in 17 countries and regions, including the US, the UK, China, Japan, Spain, and others. But as has now been confirmed, the service didn’t have the popularity Apple would have hoped.
First and foremost, a student plan was the same price as the Voice Plan – and paying for a service and still being able to take full advantage of it is just frustrating. Over the short life of this tier, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone saying they ditch Spotify or another streaming service for Apple Music.
Even the company bringing back a second generation of the HomePod wasn’t enough to entice users to this plan. In the last few months, BGR discovered code references that Apple was planning to kill the Apple Music Voice plan, so it comes as no surprise that Apple has now discontinued this tier.
With a lack of features or reasons to update, at least Cupertino should focus on convincing users that Apple One is where they should spend their money, as they can get all Apple subscriptions in one place and pay less.
Especially now that the company has decided to raise the prices of some of its services – and several other companies are doing the same – a tier without real benefits shouldn’t exist.
At least the iOS 17 cycle brings several features to Apple Music users.