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Siri doing hard sell on Apple Music if you ask certain music-related questions


Pandora co-creator Tom Conrad discovered that Siri won’t open the pod door answer questions about the music charts if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music. When Conrad asked Siri for the most popular song in the US today, she remained tight-lipped.

Sorry, Tom, I can’t look up the music charts for you. You don’t seem to be subscribed to Apple Music …


Business Insider report that other non-subscribers get the same result. Here in the UK, at least, Siri can’t answer the question directly anyway: when I ask, Siri simply does a web search, with the Billboard Hot 100 as the first hit. (It’s The Hills by The Weeknd, if you’re curious.)

The hard sell seems a little un-Apple-like to me, especially as the service doesn’t appear to need much help, having reached 6.5M paid subscribers within the first month after the end of the free trial period for early adopters. That puts it on track to be a billion dollar business right off the starting grid.

What next? Siri refusing to answer questions about smartphones unless you own the latest iPhone?

Ironically, Apple recently ran an ad highlighting Siri’s increased helpfulness. Perhaps she’s a little tetchy from the thought of the added workload of dealing with Apple TV searches once the new units ship?

Main photo: Digital Trends

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  1. David Hughes - 7 years ago

    it doesn’t work in the UK at the moment.

  2. rogifan - 7 years ago

    Hmm I’m in the US and just asked Siri this question and it replied, ‘sorry I don’t have charts for that date’

  3. Tom A (@Newdeal99) - 7 years ago

    likely because if you ask for the top songs it will just start playing them with Apple Music. If you just want to view the charts you need to ask siri to google them

    • AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

      That’s exactly what Eddy Cue demoed.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      You shouldn’t need to tell Siri to ask Google. If I’m not asking Siri to play me a song it shouldn’t default to playing a song from Apple Music.

  4. Eddie Adams - 7 years ago

    Are my eye’s playing tricks on me? I don’t see a home button on that iPhone.

  5. Derrel Schnurr - 7 years ago

    I have noticed that it’s been hard to navigate my music with Siri since Apple Music dropped (and even more so when I ended my subscription). She’s been confusing bands in my library with bands from Apple Music, then won’t play them because I’m not subscribed. Certain commands have changed slightly too. For example, I used to say “play all songs shuffled” and it would put my library on shuffle. Now it only seems to shuffle the artist or album or playlist that I’m already listening to. I need to now say, “Play all MY music shuffled”. I don’t know, hopefully it’s just glitches that will be smoothed out, instead of Apple giving preferential treatment to Apple Music users and not caring about the non-subscribers.

  6. cm477 - 7 years ago

    When I asked “what is the top song on Billboard,” it directed me to the iTunes store. When I asked it to “Google the top song on Billboard,” it did a Google search.

    Bieber is #3? How large is the preteen demographic?

  7. Darrin (@DarSea2) - 7 years ago

    Is that an iPhone 7 in the photo??

    (no home button)


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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