How Affordable is Apple Music in Different Countries Around the World?

Apple Music is proving to be a strong competitor to Spotify in the battle to win over the booming on-demand music streaming industry. With 89% of internet users using streaming services globally and 52% of 16-24 year olds signed up to paid streaming subscriptions, there’s a lot of profit in offering a sweet deal to music lovers.

The longer-established Spotify still has the lead in subscriber numbers - more than 100 million compared to Apple Music’s 60 million. However, while both Spotify and Apple Music offer a comparable service in terms of instant access to an expansive choice of music, Apple Music has the advantage of allowing users to store and access their own music collections, as well as integration with other Apple products, which could attract a wider audience in the long term.

But does Apple Music offer value for money to its users around the world? To find out, SavingSpot has gathered data on the relative costs of a subscription to the service in different countries around the world, and put together these infographic maps showing the affordability compared to the net national income per capita. This follows a similar study to determine the affordability of global Spotify Premium rates.

Subscription Fees and Affordability

The first two maps show the countries where Apple Music is most and least affordable when calculated as a percentage of the average monthly income, and the cost of a monthly subscription to the service in absolute terms. The results show that affordability isn’t just about low price, but whether the price is generally accessible to a country’s population.

For example, while Apple Music is cheapest in absolute terms in India, where a monthly subscription costs just $1.32, it is towards the mid-range in terms of affordability, at 0.95% of the $139.87 average monthly income. In contrast, the most expensive fee in actual terms is $15.50 in Denmark, where the average salary is significantly higher at $4,022.26, making the subscription a much more affordable 0.39%.

The sweet spot for affordability is when a low subscription fee is offered in a location where the average income is relatively high. Of all the countries in the study, Bermuda has the most affordable Apple Music in this respect. The low monthly subscription of $5.99 is a mere 0.07% of the healthy $8,283.33 average paycheck.

The least affordable deal is in Niger, where a $2.99 subscription equates to 11.76% of the national average wage of $25.42. That’s a major expenditure for the average person in Niger, and Spotify do not currently offer an alternative service in the country. In cases like this, the lack of affordability is due to low average incomes as opposed to high subscription rates in actual terms.

Affordability Across Continents

After Bermuda, the Cayman Islands has the most affordable rates for Apple Music in North America. The average resident can easily pay the same $5.99 fee, as it counts for a mere 0.09% of the $6,700.38 income. The subscription fee in the United States, meanwhile, is more than twice that at $9.99, despite the lower average salary of $4,290.41, making it a comparatively less-affordable 0.23%.

On-demand music is less affordable in Central America. Nicaragua is the country with the lowest average monthly income, and the least affordable rates for Apple Music. A subscription of $5.99 in Nicaragua adds up to 3.92% of the $152.70 paycheck. Costa Rica has the most affordable Apple Music subscription in the region, with $2.99 costing 0.35% of the average salary of $860.57.

In Europe, the cost of an Apple Music subscription ranges from $2.36 a month in Russia to $15.50 in Denmark. Norway has the most affordable rate of $10.81, which is a modest 0.21% of the $5,155.43 income, while a $4.99 rate in Moldova is the most expensive in Europe, at 3.03% of $191.86, which is also the lowest average salary of the European countries in the study.

The best value Apple Music in South America is in Brazil, where a $3.15 fee equates to 0.45% of the $699.76 average income. An Apple Music subscription costs less than 1% of the paycheck in half of South American countries. Surname has the least affordable rate, at 2.88% of $207.83.

Apple Music is not yet available in much of the Middle East & Central Asia, but in the countries that do have subscriptions it is modestly affordable.The best rate is in Qatar, where a $4.94 fee is just 0.12% of the $3,994.42 average income, and the worst rate is in Jordan, where the income is a much lower $309.23 and a $7.99 fee is 1.61% of that.

Similarly, Apple Music hasn’t landed in much of the Rest of Asia & Oceania, although the rates are quite good where it can be accessed. In Macau, for instance, a $6.99 cost is just 0.10% of the high average income of $7267.38. Vietnam has a lower salary of $162.39, 1.57% of which would cover a subscription of $2.55.

On-demand music streaming is least accessible in Africa, where the digital divide is significant across the continent. Apple Music is not yet available in most African countries, and where it is it is often not affordable in comparison to the average wage. After Niger, the least affordable subscription is in Mozambique, where an unrealistic 10.87% of the average $27.50 paycheck would pay the $4.99 fee. Mauritius has better value for Apple Music, at $2.99, or 0.41% of the $726.06 salary.

Apple vs Spotify?

The data shows that Apple is available in 39 more countries than Spotify (113 compared to 74), and is cheaper in 54 of those. The price difference for subscriptions to the two different services is not significant, however. The gap is less than a dollar in most cases, and peaks at £3 in Costa Rica.

So, while Spotify has double the number of paid subscribers, Apple Music tends to be marginally cheaper and more accessible overall. If subscriptions were more generally affordable to the average person in every country, it seems that Apple Music could continue to attract a much wider subscriber base.
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