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Apple Music in the UK: All you need to know

Apple Music is set to launch here in the UK, but is it worth checking out, how do you get it and how much does it cost? Here’s our quick and easy guide.

Apple Music launches globally today and while the service looks set to challenge competitors like Spotify straight out of the blocks, many folk still aren’t too sure what it is or even what they’ll be getting should they subscribe.

What is Apple Music?

Think Spotify but with more corporate muscle.

Apple Music is Apple’s take on a subscription-based streaming music service. By paying a monthly fee, you’ll have access to all of the music on offer in Apple’s catalogue – which is a considerable amount. You won’t have the songs/albums to keep forever – you’ll have to pay the usual purchase fees for that sort of thing – but you can listen as much as you like, ad-free.

What features will Apple Music offer?

Well, first and foremost you’ll get access to a large catalogue of music which you can listen to at your leisure. You’ll be able to listen to the music offline too, a major plus if you live in an area with patchy 3G/Wi-Fi.

You’ll also get access to Apple Music Connect, a music-based social network which allows you to follow artists and check out their most recent work and/or random ramblings.

Another cool feature is Beats 1, an online-only radio station chaired by real DJ’s including former MTV man Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden. It’ll feature interviews and appearances with artists such as Dr Dre, Elton John and Drake, and musical choices made by real people rather than just robots.

How much will Apple Music cost?

Apple wants to lure you in so it’s giving you your first hit for free – or rather, your first three months.

Once you’re hooked, Apple Music will cost you £9.99 a month, exactly the same as Spotify – or £14.99 a month for the whole family, which covers up to six family members, making it pretty good value.

When will Apple Music launch in the UK/worldwide?

Today (June 30th).

As soon as you’ve installed the impending iOS 8.4 update you’ll have access to the service and your free three month trial. Beats 1 will kick off its inaugural broadcast at 5pm UK time.

Is it worth leaving Spotify for Apple Music?

It’s still too early to say.

On paper they both offer almost identical musical services and their catalogues are of a comparable size, although Apple Music has Apple Music Connect to dive behind the scenes with artists.

Apple Music is also a tad cheaper for the whole family – something which Spotify has pledged to match in the near future. But overall Spotify has walked the walk (and learned the lessons) for many years now, so even with Apple’s financial might, it could find it hard to challenge the Scandinavians.

Will Apple Music be available on Android?

Yes, the service will be available on Google’s platform this autumn. Of course, iOS users will get some bonus features that Android owners miss out on, including free radio broadcasts. But at least you can take (almost) full advantage of the service, even if you don’t have an iOS device.

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