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Apple Music adds a cheaper $ 5 “Voice” plan that can be accessed with just Siri’s verbal commands




Apple Music is Spotify’s rival, the company’s subscription streaming music service.

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple Music will announce a cheaper $ 5 / month version of its subscription streaming music service in the fall. ApplesaidMonday: A layer called Voice that can only be accessed by voice commands using Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. The news was announced at an Apple event that also revealed an update for Mac computers.

Apple’s upcoming Voice plan means that by using Siri as the only entry point, people in this class will only be able to listen to Apple Music from Apple’s own devices. So, for example, third-party speakers and devices (such as your luxury Sonos speaker or Android phone) can’t play Apple Music to anyone with a Voice plan.

Also, the Voice plan does not deprive you of access to music videos and lyrics, and you cannot use high-quality sound formats such as “lossless” or spatial audio. These elements are reserved for Apple Music’s $ 10 / month personal plan or $ 15 / month family plan subscribers.

According to Apple, the new Voice layer service will be rolled out in 17 countries and territories later this fall.

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As the whole culture moved to streaming as the most common way for people to listen to songs, Apple Music and Spotify competed with each other in search of dominating subscription music. While Spotify continues to be the largest streaming service for both listeners and subscribers, Apple Music is looking for new members due to the popularity of the iPhone. But while Spotify seems to be expanding its lead over the last few years, Apple remains silent about how Apple Music stacks up.

For example, Spotify reports that it had 158 million subscribers and 356 million monthly listeners at the end of June, including those who use the service for free with ads. increase. Apple, on the other hand, hasn’t updated the public music membership numbers. In more than 2 years. In June 2019, Apple said it had 60 million subscribers to the service. (According to music industry researcher MIDiA, Apple accounts for about 16% of the global subscription music market, and Spotify has twice that share.)

The iPhone remains Apple’s biggest money-maker, but the company is also expanding its software and service efforts, including Apple Music for $ 10 a month. Over the past few years, its new products include the $ 5 / month Apple TV Plus entertainment package, the $ 5 / month Apple Arcade game subscription, and last year’s $ 10 / month Apple Fitness Plus workout service. Apple also offers a bundle of services called Apple One. It starts at $ 15 a month and includes Apple Music.

–IanSherr contributed to this report.

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