Apple Music's new $5 plan only works with Siri

If you don't mind ceding some control, you'll get a lower price.

Apple HomePod 2021 (Apple)

Apple thinks it has a simple way to boost Apple Music adoption: limit control in return for a lower fee. The company has introduced an Apple Music Voice Plan that offers access to the full song catalog for just $5 per month, so long as you're willing to rely solely on Siri control. It's pitched as ideal for HomePod and AirPod owners and others who are more likely to use a voice assistant than tap their phone.

The new tier will be available later in the fall in 17 countries, including the US, UK and Canada. You can start a trial by asking Siri to "start my Apple Music Voice trial."

Discounted tiers certainly aren't new to music streaming. However, they tend to be student plans available to a relatively small slice of the population. Apple is clearly betting that the Music Voice Plan will not only reach a wider audience, but strike an appealing balance between ad-supported free offerings like Spotify and the $10-plus you'd pay per month for conventional services.

There are catches, of course. Siri control means investing in the Apple ecosystem — you'll have to pay the regular rate if you use platforms like Android. And this only really works if your favorite music is easy to play using voice control. The Voice Plan won't be ideal if you like classical or certain forms of electronic music, for example. If you tend to stick to popular genres or rely more on playlists, though, you might not mind the compromise.

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