Apple wants more ears tuning into its Apple Music streaming service that competes with Spotify, so it’s willing to hand out six months of the service for free.
Verizon on Wednesday announced an exclusive partnership with Apple, where current and new Verizon Unlimited customers can receive six months of Apple Music for free. Starting on August 16, Verizon Unlimited customers will receive a full ad-free version of Apple Music where they can stream music on 4G LTE or Wi-Fi and download songs for offline playback.
Current Apple Music subscribers who have Verizon Unlimited or plans to switch to Verizon Unlimited after August 16 can also receive six months of the service for free, according to Verizon spokesperson Heidi Flato.
“It gives our customers exactly what they want: Apple’s best-in-class music streaming experience, paired with an unlimited plan tailored to them, on the network they deserve,” said Verizon’s Vice President of Marketing Angie Klein in a statement.
Klein hinted there may be more offers on the way, saying the Apple Music deal is “just the first step in an exclusive partnership with Apple” for Verizon.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment from this news organization.
Apple Music has been one of Apple’s fastest-growing services with more than 50 million subscribers in May. Spotify, its main competitor, hit 83 million subscribers in July.
In Apple’s latest earnings call in July, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted Apple Music may have a larger subscriber base in certain countries, saying it has the “leadership position” in North America and Japan.
Verizon Unlimited customers who already used the free three months of Apple Music that the Cupertino tech giant provides as an introductory offer can still get the six months of free Apple Music through Verizon’s new partnership with Apple, according to Flato.
Verizon is joining its competitors in providing perks for streaming services in music, movies and television. For example, T-Mobile provides free Netflix subscriptions for its T-Mobile One unlimited customers with two or more lines on their account and Sprint provides free Hulu subscriptions for its Sprint Unlimited customers. Unlike Verizon’s Apple Music deal, T-Mobile and Sprint provide their free subscriptions indefinitely.
On Thursday, two of Apple’s main competitors in two different sectors partnered to fight back. Samsung — in its announcement of the new Galaxy S9 smartphone — announced a long-term partnership with Spotify, which will allow Samsung smartphones, smart TVs and smart speakers to seamlessly stream Spotify across its platforms.
“This partnership with Samsung reduces the friction for users to get Spotify up and running on multiple Samsung devices once the accounts have been linked,” said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in a company blog on the partnership. “It allows us to create a seamless music listening experience together for the user that would be hard for either of us to build alone. It’s a great fit.”