Apple Music to launch in China for $1.50 a month

Apple Music screencap canvasApple Music is making its debut in China and it’s going for cheap. Listeners in the new market can the same three-month trial membership as the launch countries, but once that ends, the subscription will be just $1.50 a month. The local listeners will have access to Chinese artists on the music platform as well as to international pop stars.

The low subscription cost came as a surprise, especially for a brand with a reputation of prestige pricing its products. “In Asia, the pricing needs to be near free or around $2-$5 per month to hit the sweet spot,” analyst Neil Shah of Hong Kong’s Counterpoint told The Wall Street Journal when Apple first seemed interested in expansion. Especially with other China-based companies offering media and music deals, such as QQ Music from conglomerate Tencent, Apple appears to be entering the field with a willingness to play the local game.

Apple joins select other companies from the western hemisphere in making inroads into China. Warner signed a distribution deal with Tencent late last year to get its catalog to Chinese listeners. The recent IFPI annual report offered more detail on the challenges posed by this Asian market.

Anna Washenko

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