Apple doubles down on voice with the Apple Music Voice Plan
Designed around the power of Siri, Apple unveiled the Apple Music Voice Plan during its Unleashed event on Monday. The release of a voice first experience means Apple Music Voice Plan subscribers will have access to a catalog of 90 million songs, hundreds of new stations and playlists and full playback controls all for a discounted price. As long as you ask Siri to do it.
You can only use your voice and the Siri voice assistant to get discounted access to all Apple Music content across Siri-enabled devices that support Apple Music, unless it’s a third party product like the Samsung Smart TV or Apple Music for Amazon Echo.
To subscribe to the Voice Plan, users can start as they mean to go on, by simply saying, “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial”. Once subscribed, subscribers will receive personalised in-app experiences, and suggestions tailored to their preferences and most recently played music. In addition, there will be a “Just Ask Siri” section with tips for optimizing Siri for Apple Music.
With Apple’s focus on voice discovery in their latest service rollout, subscribers will be able to play music solely with their voices if they choose to opt in. Unveiling the need for voice control, as well as serving as an experiment in seeing how and when people will take advantage of it is exciting. Is the voice-first music discovery service more likely to be used at home or in the car as most voice-driven applications are? Or will we begin to see people adopt this behavior outdoors, on their daily commute? This data has the potential to improve existing products, and determine new voice-first products and features in the future.
So with all things considered, how does the Apple Music Voice Plan compare to its competitors? The service is similar to that of Amazon Music’s Echo plan that allows users to ask Alexa for music from an Echo or Fire TV device for $3.99/month. Although the Apple Music Voice Plan costs a little more, subscribers have the benefit of accessing Apple Music content with their voice on every Siri-enabled device they possess, whether at home or on the go.
The Apple Music Voice Plan will be made available in 17 countries later this year, and it will be interesting to see if users from competing streaming services decide to switch, in order to experience a voice driven service.