Saving money on outgoings is top of many household agendas right now, and signing up to a trial that gets you Apple Music for free — at least for a time — is an attractive way to reduce overall costs.
You'll also be gaining access to one of the best music streaming services: Apple Music gives you access to more than 90 million tracks and in multiple lossless streaming options starting at CD sound quality (16-bit/44.1kHz) through to true hi-res audio (up to 24-bit/192kHz). Subscribers also get Spatial Audio support at no additional cost.
Apple Music content can be streamed or downloaded to a device to play offline, and there are also song and genre-based radio stations and curated playlists. Plus, Apple Music integrates with your existing iCloud music library, so you can combine Apple Music songs with tracks that you've previously purchased on iTunes and listen to them in one unified location.
And of course you can also sync your Apple music library to other Apple devices and play it on the best smart speakers or even many of the best smart TVs. In short, there are plenty of reasons why you'd want to get Apple Music for free — so here's how you do it.
How to get Apple Music for free
The right Apple Music plan for you
As with all streaming services, Apple Music offers tailored subscription plans to its service, which are available through the music platform's homepage.
Apple increased its prices in October 2022, and Apple Music's Student plan now costs $5.99 / £5.99 / AU$5.99 monthly, while the standard music plans cost $10.99 / £10.99 for individuals (or $109 / £109 annually) and $16.99 / £16.99 for families. The Apple One plan combines Apple Music, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, and Apple TV+ for $16.95 / £16.95 per month.
Apple Music free trial via Apple
If you're a new subscriber to Apple Music, you automatically get a one-month trial at no charge. Prior to February 2022, this free trial lasted for three months, so although competitive with other streaming services right now, it's not quite as good as it was but it's worth checking back regularly to keep on top of any extended free trial offers.
To get the free trial, visit Apple Music and choose 'Try it free' in the top-right corner, or click 'Try it free' on any of the Voice, Student, Individual and Family plan options.
If you don't want to pay for Apple Music once your trial is over, you must make sure to cancel your subscription before it automatically renews.
To do this on an iPhone, go to Settings and click on the section at the top with your Apple ID. Tap on Subscriptions, find the one you want to cancel and tap on it. Then tap on Cancel Subscription at the bottom of the page.
Free Apple Music through Verizon
If you subscribe to Verizon Wireless' top-tier 5G Do More unlimited plan ($90/month per line), it will throw in a complimentary subscription to Apple Music. This plan also includes other perks, such as Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and Hulu, as well as your choice of Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass.
Verizon's 5G Play More and Do More plans (both $80/month per line), meanwhile, offer a 6-month trial for Apple Music.
For more details on what each deal includes, be sure to check out the best Verizon phone plans.
Four-month Apple Music free trial through Best Buy
Currently, new subscribers can get a free four-month Apple Music trial through Best Buy. The one caveat is that you'll have to sign up for a Best Buy account (also free). After you "purchase" the trial, you'll be sent a code to enter in the Apple Music app. However, you will still have to enter your credit card information in the Apple Music app, so be sure to cancel the subscription before you get charged (unless you decide you want to continue with it).
Six-month Apple Music free trial with Apple products
Another way to improve upon Apple Music's standard one-month free trial is to buy an Apple audio product through the Apple Store. Purchases of its HomePod and HomePod Mini smart speakers, as well as AirPods headphones and earbuds including AirPods (2nd and 3rd Generations), AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max headphones, all come with a free six-month Apple Music trial when bought through the official website. Beats products (also owned by Apple) offer the six-month free Apple Music trial on selected products also — be sure to check before you buy.
Apple Music free trial via Shazam
There's another way to better the standard one-month Apple Music trial and it doesn't involve buying anything. This Shazam offer runs from time to time and in the past it has offered five months' Apple Music for free. Currently, there's a four months free offer.
Shazam is a music identification service owned by Apple which has been built into Siri and iOS. Users can identify tracks using a dedicated Shazam button in the Control Center, or just by asking Siri "what is this song." Users can link their Shazam app with Apple Music to get access to a custom playlist of all of their Shazam tracks.
MacWorld also reports that you may be able to use Shazam to qualify for another free subscription offer, even if you've already had Apple Music trials in the past.
We've not tested this one ourselves, but in theory all you need to do is download Shazam to your iPhone or iPad, then look for the 'Limited Time Only' offer under your Recent Shazams. Click on Try Now and you'll be invited to the current free Apple Music trial offer. Once you're signed up, you will see the date at which the free trial will end and you will be charged. Make a note to either cancel just before or switch to the low-cost Voice plan.
Six-month Apple Music free trial with EE (U.K.)
In the U.K., EE is offering new and existing customers six months of Apple Music for free without using your mobile data allowance.
If you're not a customer you'll need to sign up to the EE network first, of course. Then simply text MUSIC to 150 or log in to My EE or download the My EE app and go to Plan & Add-ons, then Add-ons, then Get more add-ons, and then follow the instructions sent to you.
Full terms and conditions, and further instructions, are available on the EE website.
How to get an additional Apple Music trial via Family Sharing
Generally, once you've used up your trial, you won't be able to get any more months free using the same method, even if you wait a year or so. But there is a trick to getting an extra three months — and it involves Family Sharing.
Start by taking out an individual Apple Music free trial, then, towards the end of your trial, set up Family Sharing within the Settings section of iCloud.
Next, invite another family member (or multiple family members) to join the service. Once they've signed up, they can then also take advantage of the Apple Music free trial — but the trick is that when they do that, everyone else in the family group will also get the free trial, even if they've previously had it as an individual. Clever, eh?
If you do take advantage of one of these free trials then don't forget to find out how to transfer Spotify playlists to Apple Music and how to cancel Spotify Premium also make sure you check out the best audiophile headphones so you can do justice to your favorite tracks in lossless audio.
More: To find out how Apple Music compares to streaming rivals, check out our guide to the best music streaming services.
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As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.