But new HomePod mini colors isn't the only audio announcement
Apple made in its Unleashed event on October 18. There's also a
brand new Apple Music tier that's half the price of the individual
The $5 Apple
Music Voice Plan
Apple Music has always distinguished itself from other music
services, particularly its rival Spotify, by not offering
a free ad-supported tier. You have to pay at least $9.99 a month
for an individual plan, $14.99 per month for a Family plan, or
subscribe through the Apple One services bundle.
Now, Apple is adding a new more affordable option. The Voice
Plan costs $4.99 a month and is meant to be used with Siri as your
only means of starting up new music. Apple will offer a free trial
that you can start entirely with Siri, by saying Hey Siri, start my
Apple Music Voice trial.
Using Siri, you'll have access to the entire Apple Music catalog
of 90 million songs, playlists, genre stations, and radio. You'll
get the algorithmic personalized playlists like Chill Mix, New
Music Mix, and Get Up! Mix, too, but you will probably not be able
to create and save your own custom playlist.
To that end, Apple is adding hundreds of new mood and activity
playlists optimized just for voice. You'll be able to say Play
something chill or Play the dinner party playlist, for example.
Apple Music already has many such playlists, but with a whole plan
built around Siri voice control, it needs to have hundreds
Apple Music's new $4.99 Voice Plan will be available later this
fall in 17 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France,
Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New
Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United
What you don't get with the Voice
If you subscribe to the Voice Plan and you open the Apple Music
app, you'll get a customized in-app experience with suggestions
based on the listener's music preferences and a queue of recently
played music through Siri. Apple says users will have full music
controls including unlimited song skipping through Siri, so it's
unclear which standard playback features you'll be able to control
with your device and which you'll need to use Siri for.
In addition to missing out on the full app experience, with the
ability to browse the whole catalog and create custom playlists,
Voice Plan users will miss out on a few other premium features.
They won't get Spatial Audio or Lossless Audio, can't see lyrics,
and can't watch music videos.