Apple is now rolling out access to its new, lower-cost Apple Music Voice plan, first introduced this fall at the company’s hardware event. The new service, designed largely for use with HomePod speakers or AirPods, limits consumers to accessing Apple Music using Siri commands. Due to its stripped-down nature, the voice-only service is offered at $4.99 per month, compared with $9.99 per month for a standard individual plan.
The new music subscription is a part of the broader iOS 15.2 update, which also brings other features like app privacy reports, Message safety warnings for children, a “Hide My Email” privacy feature and more.
Initially, some people may have been confused as to why anyone would want a music subscription designed only to be used by way of voice commands. But Apple was not the first company to go this route.
In 2019, Amazon introduced a more affordable way to stream its Amazon Music service with the launch of a free, ad-supported tier that streamed only over its Echo speakers. In other words, it was a version of Amazon Music that could only be accessed by way of Alexa commands.
Apple’s Siri-only service is similar, but isn’t restricted to Apple’s smart speakers alone. Instead, Apple says users will be able to request music using any of their Siri-enabled devices, including the HomePod, AirPods, iPhone or other devices, as well as CarPlay.