Apple Music forcing competitors to lower prices

As with all things Apple, there's been a lot of talk about its new music streaming service, ingeniously named Apple Music.

After it got officially unveiled and showcased during this year’s annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the initial amazement was quickly replaced by a profound feeling of meh. Onstage the company said it would transform the listening experience for fans, and the creative act for artists, but once the hype died down it became obvious – it’s not really offering features you can’t find elsewhere in the market.

And then it hits you – the price!

Apple offers a family plan that can be shared by up to six people for $14.99 (£9.89). Spotify and Rdio also offer family plans, but those cost $14.99 for two people and $29.99 (£19.60) for five.

The price triggered alarms in the heads of competitors. Apple's biggest competitor hopes to match its offer. Speaking to The Verge, Spotify’s global head of communications and public policy, Jonathan Price confirmed the move.

"We already have similar family pricing in some markets and we expect to offer competitive pricing everywhere in the near future," he said.

He pointed out that in Sweden, Spotify already charges roughly $20 (£13) a month for a family of five.

This draws us to an interesting conclusion: either Apple has managed to negotiate an incredibly cheap deal with music labels worldwide, or it decided to hit at their savings to subsidize a very generous offer as means of killing the competition.

Either way, Apple forcing its competitors to further trim their already very thin margins.