EE to offer free Apple Music in a UK first

iPhone 6s

EE said it will offer six months of free Apple Music services to new and upgrading contract customers from Sept. 1, marking the first time that a UK operator has provided Apple’s music streaming service to its customer base.

Once the six months has expired, the service will cost £9.99 (€11.60/$13) a month. The streaming service will not be zero-rated, and will therefore make use of mobile data allowances provided within monthly contracts. A spokesperson for EE pointed out that the operator does also provide usage alerts and data caps to avoid running up an unexpectedly large bill.

The new promotion further strengthens BT-owned EE’s content play: the operator only recently started to offer free BT Sport services to subscribers within new 4G plans.

Such offers are designed to enhance customer loyalty and reduce churn. Indeed, EE CEO Marc Allera told Bloomberg that the company’s churn rate had been improving and now stood at 1 per cent.

The Apple Music offer will be open to iOS and Android smartphone users, EE said. Once registered, customers will be able to use the service on their EE smartphone as well as on Apple iPad, Apple TV, Apple Macs and PCs.

Allera also told Bloomberg that EE is only the second mobile operator after Telstra in Australia to provide Apple Music free of charge after being licensed by Apple to sell its music content. He did not reveal what EE is paying Apple for the service, however.

German media has also reported that Telekom Deutschland could be the next operator to follow suit: said the domestic unit of Deutsche Telekom plans to announce a six-month free Apple Music offer at the IFA trade show in Berlin next week.

The German operator currently offers free Spotify services for a month under its Music Plus option, but scrapped its previous zero-rated Spotify offer with effect from Aug. 2, citing excessive mobile data traffic.

Apple Music is one of a number of music streaming services on the market, and competes with Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play Music and others.

For more:
- see this EE release
- see this article (in German)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Mac Rumors article

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EE steps up content play with free BT Sports offer
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