Just a day ago, Apple launched a special promotional discount offer on the iPhone XR, effectively bringing the down the base model to Rs 53,900 in India. Now, the Cupertino-based technology giant has made a big announcement related to Apple Music subscription.
The company has slashed the Apple Music subscription to just Rs 99 for individuals, Rs 149 for the family sharing option and just Rs 49 per month for students. It can be noted that users will get a three-month free trial subscription.
Previously, individual members, after the free trial, had to pay Rs.120 per month. While the family sharing plan and student membership used to cost Rs190 and Rs 60 per month, respectively.
Going by the recent developments such as the local assembling of the iPhone 7 and the limited time iPhone XR discount offer, we can see Apple is showing earnest commitment to the Indian market in particular and not just for short term, but for longer and establish a large user base both in terms of hardware and service.
Some sceptics may say the sudden slash in Apple Music subscription might be a reaction to the recent debut of Spotify and Google's YouTube Music in India. It can also be noted that even local players such as Reliance JioSaavn and Gaana too, earlier this week, reduced the annual subscription charges by up to 70%.
Have to say, unlike hardware products, Apple Music team in India, has shown instances of its commitment to the Indian industry better than others. Within a short span of time, it has been able to offer songs in several regional languages and has signed a partnership with top Saregama, T series, Zee Music, YRF, Universal and Sony Music, among others to cater to varied tastes of Indian music aficionados.
In recent times, Apple Music has become a go-to platform for not just emerging, but also veteran indie musicians to launch their music albums.
Last year, I had the opportunity to meet to some of the talented Indie artists including Slumdog Millionaire-famed Ankur Tiwari, Raman Negi (lead vocalist of The Local Train), up & coming singer, Kavya Tehran, Progressive Rock artist Sutej Singh, (singer and music composer) and they all shared common opinion on Apple Music being a level playing field, where can they compete with Justin Beiber and big-ticket Hollywood artists for the consumer's attention.
"I wanted my music to be available in a place where it's easily accessible to listeners, and on a platform that believes in us. With Apple Music, the biggest benefit was to see my name on a global platform. As artists, we feel respected. Here, our music speaks the loudest," Delhi-based multi-faceted music composer-cum-writer and singer Dhruv Visvanath said to International Business Times, India Edition.
Last month, Indian rapper Divine was interviewed on Beats 1 by Ebro Darden highlighting Indian hip hop scene to the international audience.
Some of the initiatives of Apple Music to support local artists include Hear it Hear. First. (HIHF) and New Artist Spotlight and offers a platform of exclusive releases (singles / EPs/albums) on a monthly basis.
There is also a New Artist Spotlight, which is dedicated to launching at least one new artist every month with an exclusive release. So far artists including Prabh Deep, MADM, Sutej Singh, among others have been benefitted by this initiative.
Besides that, Apple Music offers 14 localised radio stations in local languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and Bengali stations and stations offering an array of music genres like the 90s Bollywood Radio, Telugu Romance and Hindustani Classical and more in India.
Furthermore, Apple collaborates with the Radio City to host Bollywood Chart Show in India called 'Apple Music Top 25' with Radio City every Saturday. They play top 25 most streamed Bollywood songs on Apple Music and also feature local artists' interviews.
Apple Music made its debut on Google's Play Store in the 2015 fall and as per the latest report, more than 40 million Android phone users have installed the app.
Having said that, Apple Music has still got a long way to go, as it needs to continuously add more regional (old & new) songs in its library and considering the recent development, it is going in the right direction.
As of now, Apple Music has more than 50 million songs in its library and has over 56 million global subscribers.