Is There Any Need to Get an Apple Music Voice Subscription?

Is There Any Need to Get an Apple Music Voice Subscription?
Image: Apple

Apple last month announced it was launching a new Apple Music subscription that would allow you to control the entire thing by talking to Siri. With Apple Music Voice, you have barely any control over what you’re listening to and many are yet to be convinced it’s useful. There’s also speculation this could just be another way for Apple to build Siri’s skills.

Apple Music Voice is super lite, meaning it’s just a voice subscription, but per month it costs less than two coffees.

The company touts it as a fandangle new way to consume music. You activate Siri on your Apple device (HomePod Mini, iPhone, CarPlay, etc) and ask the assistant: ‘play jazz music’ or ‘play dinner party music’ or ‘play something chill’.

Users can subscribe to the Apple Music Voice Plan through Siri by saying “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or by signing up through the Apple Music app.

This adds another tier to Apple Music subscriptions. Apple Music Student Plan is $5.99 per month (only for actual students, though), if you’re not a student, an Individual Plan will set you back $11.99 per month after a three-month free trial. The Apple Music Family Plan, which allows you to share your account with up to five people and gives each member a personal account, is $17.99 per month.

The new Voice Plan will cost $5.99 per month.

With the Apple Music Voice Subscription, you can only play a playlist Apple has curated. You can’t choose songs, you can’t make your own playlists and you can’t play specific albums. I reiterate, playlists only.

Apple Music Voice, who is it for?

There are a few reasons Apple could be launching this service (I mean, the company has always had a focus on music – this can be seen 20 years ago when the first iPod was announced) and the first one is that not everyone is obsessed with music.

A subscription for those ‘meh’ about music

There are some people that don’t actually give a shit about music, and that’s OK.

The driving mission for Apple’s focus on music has really been to make it accessible to everyone, from hardcore fans of a specific genre to those who just like background noise and couldn’t tell you a band name if their life depended on it.

With the exception of apps that you can connect via Bluetooth, a lot of speakers in the market don’t have access to the radio. So, a voice subscription allows someone to essentially (cheaply) have a radio on.

This is the hardest concept for me to wrap my head around (not caring what is playing) but that’s why multiple tiers exist, so someone like me could pay more to have those extras I demand from my music listening experience.

Voice subscription as a gateway

Provide a decent voice experience and maybe the user will get frustrated at not being able to ‘like’ songs or build playlists, and they upgrade. Pretty good business plan there.

There is still a UI, you won’t just have a blank canvas. With Apple Music Voice, you’ll be able to see the song, the playlist – similar to when you bring your iPhone close to a HomePod Mini and you’re fed suggestions – just nothing immersive.

If you want to build your own playlists, if you want to see lyrics, then shoot up an Apple Music tier. Simples.

Handsfree scenarios

This is something that shouldn’t be neglected. So many scenarios where touching your phone is impractical (or illegal) such as on a building site or driving.  Being able to ask Siri for music when your hands aren’t free is really handy (sorry).

A voice-only option is also more inclusive. But, none of these examples is something exclusive to Apple Music Voice – you can still choose to access tunes via Siri on a normal Apple Music Plan.

It wants to build a better Siri

This entire thing is controlled by Siri and feeding the assistant more data (how you pronounce certain things, as one example) only makes it better.

Also builds Siri’s understanding of everything, such as ‘moods’.

It’s just really stretching to announce new stuff

Alongside the Voice subscription announcement, Apple announced an update to its HomePod Mini. Well, it wasn’t really an update, more that three more colours were being introduced into the range. It also dropped the new AirPods 3.

Either way you slice it, there’s now a subscription that suits everyone’s needs, pretty much.

The Voice plan still gives you hundreds of playlists Apple says cover all types of moods (what about if I’m feeling exceptionally black metal-y?) and activities. There’s 90 million songs available on Apple Music, so maybe if I’m feeling black metal-y it will have me covered.

If you look at this as a standalone product that harnesses the power of Siri, then it’s pretty rad. But it’s not for me, and that’s OK.

Apple Music Voice is coming super soon, we’ll let you know when.