Does Apple Music Have Ads Now? (Explained)

In short: Apple Music is an ad-free streaming music service that lets you listen to millions of songs and your music library but has ads on radio stations and interviews in playlists.

Unlike Spotify, Apple Music has been known for being free of advertisements. However, there have been reports of ads inside the Apple Music platform. Let’s talk about it.

Does Apple Music have ads now?

Apple Music doesn’t have ads.

It has always been ad-free, even until now. The music streaming platform uses a paid subscription model similar to the paid version of Spotify, also known as Spotify Premium.

The Apple Music free trial doesn’t have ads either. Any money paid to the artists during this time will be paid solely by Apple. There is no free, ad-supported model for Apple Music.

Apple also has an internet radio streaming service, iTunes Radio, that is similar to Pandora. There is a free, ad-supported version and a paid, ad-free version that comes with iTunes Match.

However, since the introduction of the Voice plan, many paying Apple Music customers have seen multiple ad spots for radio shows in auto-generated and curated playlists.

Basically, these ads are made by Apple promoting their own radio shows, not ads made by other companies who choose to advertise on the Apple Music platform.

Apple introduced ads in 2022 (my experience)

While Apple Music said nothing about ads on its platform, there have been reports of advertisements for first-party Apple radio shows within the paid Apple Music service.

Retired Apple reporter Jim Dalrymple took to Twitter in May 2022 to express his annoyance with the fact that Apple is playing ads on a playlist despite claiming to be ad-free.

The ads seem to be first-party spots advertising Apple One radio shows, and they’re playing between songs in auto-generated or curated playlists, not in user-saved playlists.

My experience with Apple Music ads

Recently, my radio stations on Apple Music started playing ads for other stations like Zane Lowe although I have an active subscription. I signed out and in again and still hear them.

After doing my fair share of research, I’ve discovered that Apple Music has been inserting promotional interviews inside Apple’s curated (auto-generated) playlists.

I think Apple Music is a genius for serving ads in a discreet manner. They do it in a way that’s not as disruptive as Spotify ads, yet quite effective. Here’s how they do it:

Apple Music starts by redesigning its playlist pages to highlight blurbs about artists being featured in the playlist that week, along with pictures of the featured artist.

This increases the chances of that playlist being selected by users.

Then came the advertisement: Apple began inserting a “spoken-word” track into the playlist, featuring a brief mini-interview with that week’s featured artist.

The ads don’t make sense if you shuffle the playlist

Although Apple carefully places its ads (artist interview track) directly above a song by that artist, the advertisement doesn’t make any sense whenever the playlist is shuffled.

Apple Music doesn’t “attach” the spoken track to the music track or skip the spoken track during shuffles, so it appears randomly during a session and thus makes no sense.

While the ads in the algorithmically-generated stream are skippable, they’re still annoying — and unexpected — for listeners who are paying a premium for music.

Remove Apple Music ads by deselecting songs

While you can’t delete a song from a curated playlist, you can uncheck a song. The best thing you can do to remove the Apple Music ad is to uncheck the track. 

You can do this either by switching that playlist to Songs view (View: As Songs) or by right-clicking on a song and choosing Uncheck Selection. The song will gray out and won’t play.

On the Mac, you can also “dislike” a track, but while that feeds Apple’s algorithms (on iOS it’s called “play less like this”), it doesn’t stop the disliked track from playing.

Unfortunately, Apple Music is always adding new first-party advertisement spots to its playlists, so you’ll have to play a constant game of cat and mouse to avoid the interview pieces.

Are all songs free on Apple Music?

Apple Music is a subscription service like Netflix. You pay a monthly fee to Apple and they give you unlimited access to all the content that is part of their subscription library.

However, Apple Music works differently from iTunes.

iTunes tends to cost between $0.99 to $1.29 per song. Apple Music, on the other hand, costs $10.99 per month for a single individual and $16.99 for a family account with up to 6 users. 

If you cancel your subscription to Apple Music, you lose access to all the music. If you buy music from the iTunes Store, you are purchasing a perpetual license.

Both Apple Music and iTunes also have different libraries. There are some songs that are for sale in the iTunes Store that are not available on Apple Music, but most songs are.

Read also: Is the Apple Music family plan worth it?

Why is Apple giving away 3 months of free Apple Music?

Apple Music is giving away new subscribers with eligible devices (anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Mac running the latest software) three months of Apple Music for free.

However, after the three-month period, that person has to pay $10.99 per month.

The reason why Apple gives away three months of free Apple Music is to give people a taste and hopefully, they see the value in the service to pay for a subscription.

It’s more or less the same reason why any company gives away free trials.

If you’re a new subscriber and would like to redeem this offer, first make sure that you have an eligible device (an iPhone, iPad or Mac running the latest software).

Open the Apple Music app on your device and sign in with your Apple ID. If the offer doesn’t appear immediately after launching the app, go to the “Listen Now” tab where it will appear.

Tap “Redeem Now.”

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