Apple is now offering a 50 percent college student discount for its $9.99-a-month Apple Music streaming music service to verified students around the world as the company seeks new ways to grow its subscriber lists for the almost 1-year-old music platform.
The discount plan, which will lower the price of the service to $4.99 a month for students, comes on the heels of reports earlier this week that Apple will unveil a redesign and update to Apple Music to address shortcomings in the service's ease of use, appearance and search capabilities.
The student discount will be available initially in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and other nations, with more countries to be added in the future, according to a story by 9to5mac. Prices for Apple Music service do vary by country, but the discounted rate is expected to be half of the existing rate in most locales, the story states.
To receive the discount, students must attend an eligible university or college. Qualifying students can take advantage of the half-off discount for up to four years, according to the story. Students who already subscribe to Apple Music can begin receiving the student rate if they are eligible, the story reported.
Competing music streaming vendor Spotify already offers a 50 percent-off deal for verified students who attend qualifying universities and colleges. Spotify's student plan is also $4.99 a month.
Apple last week announced that it has 13 million members for Apple Music, up from 10 million members in January, seven months after the service had launched in June 2015.
Apple did not immediately respond to an email inquiry on May 6 from eWEEK seeking more details about the new student discount program for Apple Music.
The company is still reeling from tough financial news at the end of April, when it reported second-quarter 2016 revenue of $50.6 billion, which was 13 percent lower than the $58 billion the company posted one year prior. That revenue decline was the first in 13 years of quarterly revenue reports, dating back to 2003, according to an earlier eWEEK story.
The company's net income was also down in Q2 to $10.5 billion from $13.6 billion a year ago as sales of the company's flagship iPhone smartphones leveled off, ending Apple's enviable 13-year record of uninterrupted sales growth. Apple also missed analysts' revenue estimates as it reported $50.6 billion in sales, below the $51.97 billion average estimate of 34 financial analysts who were surveyed by Thomson Reuters in advance of the earnings report.
When Apple Music launched last June, the company thought it had a winning offering that would rise to the top of a growing streaming music market and attract many millions of users to sign up for the service. But while more than 13 million users have signed up so far, Apple Music still isn't as popular and category-leading as the company planned for the service.
That's why Apple plans to revamp Apple Music with a myriad of changes that are expected to be unveiled at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is being held June 13-17 in San Francisco. Among the changes that are expected are improvements to the service's user interface, as well as better integration with its music download services.
Apple launched Apple Music on June 30, 2015, in 100 countries, including the United States, to join the iTunes store as a means to give music lovers a new way to find a huge catalog of music in one destination. Optional family memberships for sharing by up to six family members are priced at $14.99 per month.
By diving into the streaming music business, Apple took on competitors including Spotify, Pandora, Google Play and others in offering subscribers the ability to listen to almost limitless music collections in real time from anywhere.
Also tied into Apple's music strategy is its Beats Electronics business, which it acquired for $3 billion in May 2014, including the Beats Music streaming service as well as the company's headphone business. Beats launched Beats Music, a $9.99-a-month streaming music service for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices, in January 2014, according to a previous eWEEK report.