Apple has begun charging a fee for its Apple Music trials in some countries.
New users could previously enjoy the service for three months before having to hand over any cash, but those in Australia, Spain and Switzerland must now pay 99 cents.
It’s unclear why Apple has made this change, and it seems asking users for 99 cents won’t make much of a difference for the world’s richest company. But it’s unlikely to deter too many users, with rival services like Spotify charging up to $9.99 for the first three months of use.
Unlike Apple Music, however, Spotify does offer a free subscription tier, which grants access to unlimited tracks as long as users are willing to sit through the occasional ad. There are also some restrictions with the free tier, like a limited number of skips.
So far, the Apple Music trial fee is yet to make its way to other markets, but we don’t expect it to remain exclusive to these three countries.
When Apple Music was first introduced with its three-month free trial, Apple planned to withhold royalties while users enjoyed the service at no cost. This decision was met with backlash from a number of big artists, including Taylor Swift, convincing Apple to reverse course.
Since then, the company has been losing out during free trials, which could explain why the new fee has been introduced.