Is Apple Music download free?

Apple Music is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc. It offers users access to over 90 million songs, 30,000 playlists, music videos, livestreams from top artists, and exclusive content. But is Apple Music available to download for free? Let’s take a closer look.

Is Apple Music Free to Download?

The short answer is no, Apple Music is not free to download. To gain access to Apple Music and its catalog of over 90 million songs, you need to purchase a subscription.

There are a few membership options:

  • Individual plan – $9.99/month
  • Family plan (up to 6 members) – $14.99/month
  • Student plan – $4.99/month

So while you can download the Apple Music app for free, you cannot download or listen to music for free without an active subscription. There is no option currently to purchase individual songs or albums outside of an Apple Music membership.

Why Apple Music Isn’t Free

Apple Music isn’t free because the service has to pay music rights holders and artists for the ability to stream and download their catalogs. The licensing fees collected from subscriptions are distributed as royalties to record labels, publishers, artists, and songwriters.

Apple negotiated these license agreements with record labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group to allow Apple Music subscribers to access massive music catalogs on demand.

If Apple Music was free, it would not be able to compensate the creators and rightsholders of the music. This would undermine the music industry and make it difficult for Apple to secure the licenses needed to provide an extensive catalog.

Free Trials of Apple Music

While an active subscription is required for full access to Apple Music, Apple does offer new users a free 3-month trial period. This allows you to test out the service, download music, and listen to Beats1 radio for free before committing.

Here are the key aspects of the Apple Music free trial:

  • Lasts for 3 months
  • Full access to the Apple Music library and features
  • Automatically renews into a paid membership after 3 months
  • Can cancel anytime during the 3 months to avoid being charged

This is a great way to experience Apple Music for an extended time before paying. You can download any song or album and add it to your library during the trial period.

However, there are restrictions to take note of:

  • Downloaded content is only available during the trial
  • Access to downloaded music stops if you cancel
  • Downloaded music can’t be transferred to other devices

So in summary, while you can download music during the 3-month Apple Music trial, the content will only be accessible if you continue with a paid membership after the trial ends.

Other Ways to Get Apple Music for Free

In addition to the 3-month trial that Apple offers directly, there are a few other ways you may be able to access Apple Music for free or at a reduced cost:

1. Free 5-Month Trial with Best Buy

Best Buy frequently offers an extended 5-month free trial for Apple Music with the purchase of select Apple devices. This can be a great way to get nearly half a year of full access to Apple Music for free.

2. Free Apple Music with Verizon Unlimited Plans

Verizon offers its customers on unlimited data plans 6 months of Apple Music included. After the 6 months is up, you would need to pay for an Apple Music membership to keep full access.

3. Student Discounts

College students can get Apple Music for just $4.99/month, which is half the regular price. You need to verify your student status through UNiDAYS.

4. Family Sharing

You can split the cost of an Apple Music family plan, which allows sharing with up to 5 other people. At $14.99/month, that comes out to just $2.50 per person.

So while Apple Music isn’t outright free, there are a few ways you can get extended free trials or reduced pricing. Just take advantage of student discounts, mobile carrier deals, device bundles, or family sharing.

Free Alternatives to Apple Music

If you don’t want to pay for Apple Music or only have occasional need to download songs, there are a few free music services to consider:

  • YouTube: Stream music videos and songs for free. Audio quality isn’t as high as paid services.
  • Spotify: Offers a free, ad-supported version with limited on-demand skips and downloads.
  • SoundCloud: Listen to music and podcasts for free. Upgrading removes ads.
  • Pandora: Free radio streaming based on artist or song selections.
  • iHeartRadio: Free streaming radio with access to live stations.

While these services don’t offer the full, unlimited catalog access that comes with Apple Music, they are great options for casual listening and downloading.


So in summary:

  • Apple Music requires a paid subscription and isn’t available for free.
  • You can download and try Apple Music through a 3-month free trial.
  • Ongoing access to downloads requires keeping an active subscription.
  • Discounts are available for students and through Family Sharing.
  • Free alternatives like YouTube and Spotify allow limited downloads.

While an Apple Music membership comes at a cost, you gain access to a huge catalog of over 90 million songs, playlists, music videos, and more. The free trials and student discounts do help make the service more affordable.

So consider starting with the extended free trial through Apple or Best Buy. This will allow you to experience Apple Music and download songs for a few months before deciding if the full paid membership is worth it for you.