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Following a recent price hike for Apple Music Student subscriptions, Apple is trying to soften the blow for new subscribers by throwing in a free pair of Beats earphones.
Last month, Apple increased the price of the Apple Music Student Plan by $1/month, bringing it to $5.99/month for both new and existing student subscribers. This marked the first time that Apple has increased the price for any of its first-party subscription services. The increases began in May for several other countries but didn’t come to the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. until late June.
The price increase affected only the Apple Music Student plans; the standard Apple Music plan remains at $9.99/month — the same price that’s been in effect since the service launched in 2015. Apple’s newer Voice Plan is also still priced at $4.99/month, so the price increase for the student plan now sets it apart from the (slightly) more affordable but considerably more limited voice-only plan.
The reasons for this price increase aren’t entirely clear, although, as with most things concerning Apple Music, there’s probably some pressure from the music industry. After all, the record labels hold all the rights to the music offered on Apple’s streaming service. Apple had to fight with them to get its Apple One bundle worked out, and Apple Music is conspicuously the only Apple service that charges extra for a family plan. Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and even Apple News+ are all available to everyone in your family at no additional charge.
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How to Get Free Beats
In an effort to draw in the college and university crowd, Apple is sweetening the pot by offering a free pair of Beats Flex earphones to new Apple Music Student subscribers — a value proposition that more than makes up for the $1/month price increase.
Oddly, Apple doesn’t appear to be promoting this offer anywhere on its main website. Instead, it’s tucked away on UNiDAYS, which is the service that eligible students need to use to validate their student status.
According to Apple’s Terms and Conditions, the deal began on June 22 and is available only in the United States and the United Kingdom. Apple says it’s a limited-time offer, but it hasn’t specified an end date so far.
It’s also explicitly for new subscribers — those who have never subscribed to Apple Music. So, even if you canceled your Apple Music subscription years ago, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to take advantage of this offer by coming back.
Specifically, Apple says the “Offer is not available to users who have previously subscribed to any tier of Apple Music.” It’s unclear if this includes users who have trialed Apple Music in the past but canceled without ever paying for it or those who had access to Apple Music through a family plan.
Former family plan members may still qualify as long as they weren’t the ones paying for the subscription. However, they would have to leave the Family Sharing group first, and there’d be little point in doing that unless the Family Organizer didn’t want to continue paying for Apple Music for the whole family.
To receive a free pair of Beats Flex earphones, you must sign up for an Apple Music Student plan through UNiDAYS, which is a requirement to get the $5.99/month student pricing in the first place. Once you’ve done that, the Beats Flex offer should kick in automatically as long as you’re a first-time subscriber, subject to a few conditions:
- You can’t combine this with any other special Apple Music offers beyond the standard Apple Music Student package, which also includes Apple TV+.
- You’ll be eligible only once you make your first monthly payment for Apple Music, not during the free trial period.
- Within 30 days of making your first monthly payment, Apple will send you instructions on how to get your free pair of Beats Flex earphones. You’ll have 90 days to redeem that offer.
- You may or may not have a choice of color, depending on availability.
- The Beats Flex earphones must be shipped to the country or region where you’ve subscribed to Apple Music. This means that students studying abroad will likely need to have them sent to their original home address.
Apple released the Beats Flex in 2020 as an astonishingly affordable $50 set of wireless earbuds with support for many advanced iPhone features like Audio Sharing. In 2021, Apple increased the price to $70, but even at the higher price, the wireless earbuds remain a great deal — and of course, they’re an even better deal for students with this latest promotion.