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Poll: As Apple Music free trial expires, are you staying or going?

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When Apple Music officially launched earlier this year, we ran a poll seeing where people were switching from to use the service. A surprising 33 percent of the 18,000 responses said they were switching from Spotify to Apple Music, while another 23 percent said Apple Music was their first streaming service. At the time, however, anyone using Apple Music was getting it for free. In fact, 17 percent of people said they were using the service, but only during the trial.

As we noted earlier today, however, the first 3 month free trials are wrapping up, which means it’s time to see who’s sticking with Apple’s streaming music service and who’s leaving…

Last week, Ben ran a poll seeing who would pay for Apple Music and roughly 33 percent of responders said that the service is “definitely” worth the $9.99/month subscription charge. Only 13 percent of responders said that there was no way they would pay for the service. The biggest selling point for many users is that the cost of Apple Music is less than a cost of buying one album per month. Many are also swayed by the $14.99/month family plan.

While other streaming services have taken steps to try and compete with Apple Music, I standby my review from earlier this year in which I said that Apple Music, while it has its bugs (and still does), is the best streaming service available. In my three months using the service, I have discovered more new artists with it than I did with Spotify in 2 years of usage and as a music lover, that’s a feature that is more valuable than any other.

If you’re ditching Apple Music, be sure to cancel your subscription right now as Apple will begin charging the first users over the next 24 hours. You can find out how to cancel your subscription here. In the meantime, let us know in the poll above whether you’re sticking with Apple’s service or moving to a competitor like Spotify, Rdio, Google Play, or Tidal. Feel free to back up your vote with some reasoning in the comments below, as well…

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  1. Paul Mustard - 7 years ago

    I gave it the good ol’ college try, but the only thing I was really into was beats one radio, which apparently you can listen to without said subscription.

  2. AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

    “Hey Siri, play Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”

    That’s my answer.

  3. Alan Aurmont - 7 years ago

    So few Yeps, so many Nopes.

  4. thewrongsideofrightof - 7 years ago

    poor rdio

  5. rsnyder6 - 7 years ago

    I was not looking for a streaming service, but gave Apple Music a try. I’m keeping it.

    • nelson1112233 - 7 years ago

      Me too…

      Now I realized I need this… Shouldn’t do it… Lol

  6. . (@yukcatbuttongue) - 7 years ago

    Worst convoluted app user interface ever…. ERASE, ERASE, ERASE. Syncing offline and online Apple music with a 128gb iPhone 6 has been a nightmare. I have nothing but criticism for this failure of an attempt. Unsubscribe. No thank you.

    • joe smith (@joe815smith) - 7 years ago

      I agree. Do they really think people will subscribe to it in its current broken state? I can’t believe in 3 months they didn’t make any meaningful effort to fix it. Now that the 3 month trial is over, people will go back to what they used before and they won’t be coming back to Apple Music.

    • nelson1112233 - 7 years ago

      Perhaps you are too limited to understand this…

  7. DX (@dx459) - 7 years ago

    I love the content in Apple Music, but iCloud Music Library was a total bust for me.

    I have a large existing iTunes Library and I need to control which tracks are synced to my devices (e.g., the checkmarks), and I need my smart playlists to work (they don’t with iCloud). So right off the top iCloud Music Library doesn’t work for me.

    But I really want to explore Apple Music, so despite those drawbacks I bite the bullet and spend a week uploading my entire iTunes library to iCloud just so I could use Apple Music. And after a week of uploading, my iTunes Library became totally inaccessible on my iOS devices. “Unknown Error” whenever I try to play a track from my Library.

    I would love to stick with Apple Music, but iCloud Music Library is just a complete failure and I have no choice but to cancel.

    • frdmfghtr - 7 years ago

      Why do you have to use the iCloud music library to use Apple Music? I have my iTunes library on my PC and have no intention of using the iCloud music library, but have been using Apple Music for the last few months.

  8. Ross Lombardo - 7 years ago

    I am with Telstra, so I will be using the One year Apple Music Offer ! So its with me for now ! love it !

    • Tim Dawes (@timdawes) - 7 years ago

      How good is it. I just upgraded my 6 for a 6S plus as well, so i get 2 years free Apple Music. They sent me an email today saying that I get an extra 500MB on top of my 7GB to use for apple music (although they’ve screwed up something with my account and don’t monitor my data anyway lol)

      unlimited data + apple music + telstra’s network makes road trips so good, never have to worry about not having a particular song on my phone

    • Hayden Lewis - 7 years ago

      I’m with Telstra too. Did you start Apple Music with Apple’s free trial before switching over to Telstra’s? Or did you go straight to Telstra’s?

      • Tim Dawes (@timdawes) - 7 years ago

        i started with apple directly on my 6, but when i got my 6s plus last week, it was part of the sign up with telstra

  9. My experience with Apple Music / the new iTunes has been disappointing. In its current form, it’s just too clunky and buggy to justify the monthly fee.

  10. Graham J - 7 years ago

    I was trialing Spotify when Apple music came along and then switched to that. I don’t think I listen to enough different music to warrant paying for it monthly so I’m dropping it. I’m happy listening to my own playlists and Plex will stream them.

    • Graham J - 7 years ago

      Oh and I set up my wife with iTunes Match and it was mostly a failure. AppleTV still won’t see any of the tracks. Also when setting a playlist as off-line it would still try to contact Apple music before playing which basically breaks it when I have low cell coverage of the cottage.

  11. Smigit - 7 years ago

    I’d pay to use the service, but my carrier (Telstra) has a 12 months free Apple Music promotion with Apple so I won’t be out of pocket anyway.

    • Hayden Lewis - 7 years ago

      I’m with Telstra too. Did you start Apple Music with Apple’s free trial before switching over to Telstra’s? Or did you go straight to Telstra’s?

  12. Eli Campos (@E9MC5) - 7 years ago

    I really wanted to keep Apple Music, but I can’t bring myself to do it when it doesn’t completely work for me. I have over 25,000 songs in my library, so I can’t save any more songs, albums or created playlists to My Music. Whenever Apple decides to raise the limit (as promised), I’ll definitely switch back to Apple Music. Until then, Spotify has my money.

  13. plooms - 7 years ago

    First we must remember that a poll regarding Apple products/services on an Apple rumor mill is going to be skewed towards Apple evangelists.

    That said, it is surprising to me how many people are switching/going back to Spotify. It certainly says something about the polish.

    I, a former Spotify subscriber, will be continuing with Apple Music. Not because I think Apple Music is better than Spotify; I don’t.

    I have, however, bought into the Apple ecosystem and know that the functionality of Apple Music will always be updated with the rest of my devices. It’s really still in its early stages; even a casual user will experience numerous bugs.

    I stay because I look forward to having the latest features of Apple Music, without waiting for basic device integration. Two+ years later, you can finally stream Spotify though Chromecast, which just launched today. I’ll always have updated Apple services with my updated Apple products.

  14. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    if they do what amazon does and offer music AND videos in one price – then i’ll get it… actually i dont listen to a lot of music and i though this would be a great way to try and find music i may like – turns out im just not a music fan and most of the suggestions i didnt like… i only like a couple of songs per artist, hence why i dont by CDs and often single tracks are expensive…

    However, tv and movies i do love – if apple stopped charging so much and created a subscription plan instead (like the music) then i’d get it

  15. usmansaghir - 7 years ago

    Definitely staying with Apple Music. Really have enjoyed my 3 months. Not having to plug my iOS devices to a pc or whatever to get your new tracks on my device couldn’t ask for anything better. Yes it does need polishing out and many other things. but its new as everything thats new, it will take time to get it right. It’s Apple surely they are hard at work sorting it out. For me best services provided so far from Apple is definitely Apple Music and Apple Pay. £9.99 a month entitled to 30million tracks, better then buying each individual track for 79p. Best thing is about Apple Music is, when you on a long journey and one of your mates ask you to play a certain track and Apple music does not fail to let you down so simple just search and play. Its only let me down once lol.

  16. usmansaghir - 7 years ago

    Definitely staying with Apple Music. Really have enjoyed my 3 months. Not having to plug my iOS devices to a pc or whatever to get your new tracks on my device couldn’t ask for anything better. Yes it does need polishing out and many other things. but its new as everything thats new, it will take time to get it right. It’s Apple surely they are hard at work sorting it out. For me best services provided so far from Apple is definitely Apple Music and Apple Pay. £9.99 a month entitled to 30million tracks, better then buying each individual track for 79p. Best thing is about Apple Music is, when you on a long journey and one of your mates ask you to play a certain track and Apple music does not let you down so simple just search and play. Its only let me down once lol.

  17. I actually love apple music. Very enjoyable. Along with my favorite podcast is now a must! I even had to upgrade my data plan to listen to it in the car without restrictions. BTW it is much cheaper than my updated data plan (which is ironic). Love finding my favorite beat1 programs in connect and listing to them. I use the for you section and I just discovered the activity list in new which is killer. Its not perfect, may strange things but I like that. If you are not willing to make mistakes you are not innovating.

    At the end of the day that is what draws me, innovation… let’s try this things, how can we make it better and better, and better. I think spotify takes less risks and probably gives you more of what you want while with apple music you will sometime say, why this here now? which is a good thing, because you will discover new things, new music, new artist, new people.

    • incredibilistic - 7 years ago

      “If you are not willing to make mistakes you are not innovating.”


      It’s also easy to forget that streaming music is a completely new business for Apple so building an app that does as much as it does is an arduous task. I commend Apple for what they’ve done so far with Apple Music and have nothing but optimism for the future.

      No, it’s not perfect but I’m willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt on this one rather than get all hyperbolic as though Apple’s destroyed the world through a music app.

      Based on the amount of content they’re delivering I think the UI is astounding and to all the naysayers out there I challenge you to offer a better UI and UX based on insane amount of content Apple’s delivering. And I mean a brand new UI, not just copying directly from Spotify (like I’ve seen in some concepts that attempt to right Apple Music’s ship) but a completely new UI that doesn’t borrow heavily from what’s already available.

      I’d like to see someone try and fit a new radio experience, a social network, a local music library, a section for new music, new playlists, playlists from magazines, playlists based on moods and activities, a place for trending tracks, hot tracks, undiscovered tracks and also music videos. I promise you it’s not easy.

      Again, it’s not perfect but they have an incredibly solid platform to build on and, as you said, it’s only going to get better and better from here on out.

  18. I’m not staying because I’ve realised streaming isn’t for me. I had a block when it came to buying music and used to listen in YouTube. I thought I’d pay for Apple Music but I realised during the free trial I don’t listen to enough music to justify it. If I can afford 9.99 a month, I thought, I can afford to buy the albums and singles I do listen to and really love. Then when I decide to stop paying (to save money or for whatever reason) I can still keep the music.

  19. incredibilistic - 7 years ago

    Made a list of my favorite Apple Music features that Spotify doesn’t have:

    Siri Integration
    Being able to say “Siri, play music by [artist’s name]” is really cool. Also features like “Play the top songs from last week” or “play my [playlist name] playlist”. I look forward to doing this with the new Apple TV that will more than likely have an Apple Music app where those same commands will carry over.

    I like the ability to filter My Music and new music by genre. It helps narrow down certain songs/artists in my collection as well as finding music on the New tab. Rather than seeing just the top pop albums/tracks Apple Music allows views of what’s new in jazz, electronic or singer/song writer without scrolling a never-ending list of albums from that week that’s mostly made up of pop, rock, rap and R&B. Frankly, there’s so much music released on Friday that it’d be almost impossible for Spotify, or any app for that matter, to list it all so sorting by genre is the best solution.

    Song List Control
    When I’m in a playlist or listening to an album I like being able to manually shuffle the song order on-the-fly without damaging the integrity of the playlist/album. This also provides the ability to create playlists on-the-fly without feeling obligated to create a new one every time I stitch together a few songs for a run, workout session or just chillin’.

    Show Complete Album
    This is probably one of my favorite features. My library is filled with albums where I only bought one or a handful of tracks from an album. For a variety of reasons I only bought part of the album but with Show Complete Album I can enjoy the album in its entirety without feeling obligated to make a playlist or save the album to my music. And when I leave the view of that album it goes back to only the songs I’ve bought/saved. If I want them all it’s only a click away. This is yet another method of discovering music that I might’ve overlooked the first time around.

    Beats 1
    Everyone talks about Beats 1 as Apple Music’s best feature and I’m fan but what people are overlooking is that Beats 1 regularly plays world premiere records that aren’t available to stream, chiefly because they haven’t yet been released. At least two weeks before Tame Impala’s album was available Zane and his crew were playing songs from it. This is something no other service can match. And then you have the extra added bonus of getting insight into the track and/or the album with an exclusive interview. Some people may not be into it but I like learning about how the sausage was made.

    And where else are you gonna have the opportunity to listen to an unreleased N.E.R.D. track but on Pharrell’s radio show? Not on Spotify.

    Beats 1 Radio Shows
    Elton John, Disclosure, Jaden Smith, Ellie Goulding, Dr. Dre, Q-Tip, WRTJ and Drake. These experiences should not be dismissed or discounted.

    It’s a little thing but being able to access the search function from anywhere in the app is really handy when compared to Spotify, which forces you to swipe to a side menu and, based on how deep you navigate, forced to swipe back a half-dozen times to search again.

    Color Balance
    The Apple Music app icon is symbolic of the app itself and its brilliant use of color. I love how the tone and temperature of the app changes with each playlist, song and album. Rather than album art swimming in a sea of charcoal black and Android green I like the varying color palette of Apple Music. Again, a little thing but it makes the app feel dynamic and fresh.

    For all the slack Apple’s getting about recreating the disaster that was Ping I think they finally have something that’s unique, usable and compelling. I don’t scroll through every day but a few times a week I’ll swipe through and find some really cool music, photos or videos.

    I also like that they’re posting entire Beats 1 radio sets to listen to again in case you missed it.

    Speaking of which, Apple Music offers videos (with no ads) while I navigate and search the rest of the app (similar to YouTube) as well as the ability to hear the audio from the lock screen. I know YouTube does this on Android so it’s nice to see something similar on iOS.

    Speaking of which (again) being able to scrub a song (or audio from a music video) from the lock screen is incredibly handy. Some times there are parts in songs that I want to hear again so being able to rewind or advance from the lock screen is, again, really handy.

    So I don’t come across as a complete sucker for Apple Music I do recognize that there are some faux pas in the UI/UX but based on how dense the app is it’s not too surprising that for some it’s just a bit overwhelming. I like that there’s so much packed into the app. I’ve been using it since day one and still feel like a sense of discovery when I’m browsing around.

    A Deal
    And last but not least the price. I have a family of four so at the price of $14.99 for myself, wife and two daughters that works out to be about $3.75 per person for all the streaming music we can eat.

  20. cazaa - 7 years ago

    I’m keeping both my Apple Music family plan and my iTunes Match subscription.

  21. RGGnDFW (@yentrog31) - 7 years ago

    I must be old since 10$ a month for all the music I want sounds like a really good deal, considering I use to buy a few CD’s a month.

  22. elilabes - 7 years ago

    Ill be keeping it, for many reasons and i believe apple will sort out my last few issues with the streaming service. The main reason is iv collected alot of music in 3 months and i cant be bothered going through an moving it all! Plus i like the fact that its native with the OS and its well implemented in most cases.

  23. I cancelled my SiriusXM which was $25. Apple Music is $9.99. It was a no brainer really.

  24. Apple Music is great, but… There’s something what makes I don’t feel comfortable with it. A few days ago I have renewed my Spotify subscription and I know it’s the right choice.

  25. kjl3000 - 7 years ago

    iTunes and apple music is a mess, I just get lost with it. Syncing Apple Music and the library is a big fail. Plus, I realized that I want to add only bought music into my library, not rented music that some day may disappear.

  26. Sharif Haque Sumit - 7 years ago

    i subscribed for 4.99 USD/month in Thailand. Beats 1 radio is awesome.

  27. acjeffers - 7 years ago

    I guess I’m staying. I knew that my paid subscription starts today because I keep abreast of tech news, but I didn’t get an email from Apple in kind that i would be billed $10 today. I bet a lot of people (who didn’t get the email either) would be upset. AppleMusic-Gate? Maybe.

  28. Good product, great musci/artist discovery features, but am really most interested in seeing it integrated into Apple TV. Does anyone know if it will work with current Apple TV hardware or only with new Apple TV hardware?

  29. BEBETO (@BBTOcd) - 7 years ago

    Here in Latin America the individual plan costs $5.99 and the family plan just $8.99. If the US had those prices I think many more people would consider pay and stay.

  30. proudinfidelusmc - 7 years ago

    You forgot one more option. What about those that are unsubscribing, BUT, are still using the Apple Music app for the free Apple Radio Stations??
    I have no intention of going back to Pandora, and I def don’t use Spotify.

  31. Julian Velasquez - 7 years ago

    I’m having serious issues with iCloud Music Library. It’s seriously making me consider not using Apple Music despite wanting to. If it actually worked as it’s supposed to for syncing content across devices over the cloud, I would be more likely to stick with it. I’m calling Apple Care today to see what they recommend.

  32. Ken Porter - 7 years ago

    NONE OF THE ABOVE — I’ve never tried Apple Music or any of their other cloud-based services. I stick to what’s in my own iTunes library (6200+ songs) or use SiriusXM in my truck.

  33. Matthew Cragwick - 7 years ago

    Subscribing to both Apple Music and Spotify. I may dump Spotify eventually if I can get all my playlists (read: almost 1,000 with an average of 100+ songs in each one) imported from Spotify to Apple Music. For now, two is better than one. May get the Apple Music family plan down the road, but everyone else in my family only has an iPhone 4 which was left out of the apple music upgrade, so for now flying solo makes sense for me.

  34. James Champlin - 7 years ago

    Staying. I’d been wanting to go with a streaming service for a while, and this is perfect because it integrates with my existing iTunes library. Maybe it’s the fact that I also use iTunes Match, but I haven’t had a problem with iCloud Music Library.

  35. sardonick - 7 years ago

    No trial. No monthly BS music pay. I don’t like the new Apple at all. But, they don’t care, so I’m not either.


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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