Verizon has announced it is going to start including Apple Music in two of its unlimited phone plans, as first reported by 9to5Mac. An Apple Music subscription normally costs $9.99 a month, and the move could potentially instantly add millions of new users to the music streaming platform.
The subscription will be added at no additional cost for new and existing Verizon customers that have either the Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited plan. Those on Verizon’s Go Unlimited plan will also get an Apple Music perk — a free six month trial.
Verizon’s partnership with Apple launched last year, with the carrier offering six free months of Apple Music for customers with current postpaid unlimited data plans. Upping things to an outright free subscription is a big deal, especially since marketing documentation from Verizon indicates no raise in plan prices. Verizon’s press release says that taxes apply for the “free” Apple Music subscription, but a spokesperson said customers won’t see a higher bill because of it.
This certainly isn’t the first time a carrier has partnered up with a music streaming service to offer free subscriptions. Last year, Sprint introduced a plan called Unlimited Plus that included subscriptions to both Hulu and the standard version of Tidal. It’s hard to say how much that impacted Tidal’s overall subscription base — around the same time Sprint announced the new deal, The Verge reported that Tidal’s growth was still stagnant at about 3 million users globally. T-Mobile also offers free Netflix with certain unlimited plans — notably ones where the carrier handles taxes and fees automatically.
Verizon’s new plans with Apple Music included will be available to purchase beginning this Thursday, January 17th.