Apple Music student users just hit by surprise price hike

Apple Music logo
(Image credit: Best Buy)

The days of students getting 50% off on Apple Music appear to be coming to an end wherever you live in the world. Back in May, MacRumors (opens in new tab) found that prices were going up in the likes of Australia, South Africa and India, and now the change appears to have arrived on the U.S., Canadian and UK services.

Apple hasn’t publicly announced the change or — as far as we can tell — made contact with subscribers who enjoyed the previous rate. But at some point between June 22 and June 24 when it was first spotted on Twitter (opens in new tab), Apple Music for students went up to $5.99 a month in the U.S. and Canada, and £5.99 a month in the United Kingdom. 

The Wayback Machine entry for June 21 (opens in new tab) shows the old price still intact, before the 20% hike arrived. When Apple made similar changes in other countries back in May, the company sent out emails confirming the change (opens in new tab), but we’ve not heard of anybody receiving them in the U.S., UK or Canada yet.

Note that this only applies to student accounts, with neither the $9.99 Individual account or $14.99 Family package impacted. Still, for students trying to make every dollar and cent count, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Time to switch streamers?

An extra dollar a month may only add up to $12 per year, but there is an opportunity to save money here if you’re open to switching streaming services. 

In the great battle of Apple Music vs. Spotify, this is a valuable point to the latter. Not only is its student package still $4.99 per month, but it comes with a free subscription to Hulu (the ad-supported plan) and Showtime too. There’s a month’s free trial if you’re on the fence, as well.

That seems like a no brainer, but if sound quality is all important to you, then you may just have to suck up the $1 price increase. While Apple Music has Spatial Audio and lossless tracks, Spotify has yet to roll out its long promised HiFi upgrade.

If you’re an iPhone user, as most Apple Music subscribers are, it could also be worth looking at an Apple One account (opens in new tab) where the likes of Music, Arcade, TV Plus are bundled into one discounted monthly subscription cost with some extra cloud storage. While there’s no student discount, $14.99 per month isn’t bad if you get use out of all the services on offer.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.