Apple Music launched in India four years ago, but the company is just now starting to compete.
Just this morning, Apple slashed its music subscription fees to better compete with fresh entrants Spotify and YouTube Music.
Previous rates for Apple Music in India started at Rs60 per month ($0.87) for students and Rs120 ($1.74) a month for single subscriptions. Family accounts were available starting at Rs 190 ($2.75) per month. Both Spotify and YouTube Music Premium launched with similarly low prices in India.
The emerging market of India is extremely competitive for streaming music giants. All three services are competing against each other and a slew of local start-ups for subscribers.
Apple has updated its subscription tiers with some serious price-chopping.
Now, students only pay just Rs 49 ($0.71) per month while the standard individual plan starts at Rs 99 ($1.43) per month. The Apple Music family plan is available at Rs 149 ($2.15) per month.
Spotify’s rock-bottom price launch in India now appears quite expensive by comparison. It will be interesting to see if Spotify responds by offering even lower rates to subscribers. Of the three services, YouTube Premium is now the most expensive music subscription service in India.
Apple has also lowered the cost of its devices in India amid tepid sales.
The iPhone XR dropped 22% in price down to Rs 59,900 ($866). Apple has faced stiff competition in India as budget brands like Huawei and Xiaomi dominate the market.
Apple Music in India offers 14 localized radio stations and has partnered with all leading music labels in the country. Those partnerships include Saregama, T-Series, Zee Music, YRF, Universal, and Sony Music.
The concept of paying a subscription for music streaming is still in its nascent stages in India.
The top five Indian-based music streaming apps all have free, ad-supported services with millions of monthly active listeners. Jio Music, Gaana, Wynk, Saavn, and Hungama all offer stiff local competition.