Apple’s subscriptions have this nasty way of creeping up on you – as I found out
One more won’t hurt
Is it time I get an Apple One subscription? Will it save me money?
I don’t know what made me stop and think this the other day. Actually, scrub that, I do. I was writing one of my Appleviews, Friday newsletters, and I was covering the fact that Apple were up’ing their subscriptions across the board.
The amounts they were increasing sounded small, tiny almost, and I excused them as being good value for money. Each one individually, probably is, but as a group, they start to mount up.
Then it struck me
I was sat thinking about these Apple subscriptions, when it hit me – I didn’t know how many subs I had, or, how much I was paying. I’m a businessman, so numbers, over the years, have kinda been important to me. To not know how much I’m handing over to Apple monthly was not good.
Last night, I looked into my iCloud account and here are my findings – warning…it’s not pretty!
- iTunes Match – £21.99/year
- Apple TV+ – £6.99/month
- Apple Fitness + – £9.99/month
- Apple Music (family) – £14.99/month
- iCloud 2TB storage – £6.99
Ooof! That comes to just a touch under £500 a year in Apple subscriptions, which is a hell of a lot of money in my books. Now, of course, these numbers are in my crossfire, and I am trying to think of ways to save on it. I have looked over the five subscriptions that I have, and in my defence, I do use them all. The only one I could possibly trim back on, is one of the cheapest ones – the 2TB of iCloud storage.
Time to bundle
Which has led me to think about looking in to one of the Apple One bundles.
Apple’s services have become a hugely important part of the companies bottom line. In the fiscal reports posted over the past ten days, services alone earned them $78 billon, with the last quarter alone earning them $19 billion. Overall, services earned $10 billion more year-on-year, in 2022.
Of course, as they posted those healthy numbers, they also announced that subscriptions were going to increase across all their services. As I said earlier, although fairly small, they tot up quickly.
Apple TV+ hasn’t gone up since its launch in November 2019. Then, they had very little content, but now, their library is growing by the day, with quality output. That will go up from $4.99 to $6.99 (or $69 if paid annually).
Apple Music, which, for my sins, I use more than Spotify, has several tiers, and they too, all go up –
- Individual plan – $10.99/month (an increase of $1)
- Family Plan – $16.99/month (an increase of $2)
- Annual individual plan – $109/year (an increase of $10)
The increases were explained away in saying that licensing costs are rising. The extra money raised from Apple Music, we are told, will provide artists and songwriters with additional money for their music. For Apple TV+, it is simply to help cover the costs of making so much content.
Subscriptions – a part of life
I am well aware of the whole ‘are subs fair’ argument, but, like them or not, they are just a part of life. A large part of my day is spent in an Adobe app of some kind. And if I am not using a Creative Cloud app, chances are, I will be using an Apple one. And then there is the YouTube Premium app…they just go on and on.
The Apple One bundles I am interested in are set to go up as well by around $2 or $3 (although I’ve stated prices in dollars, the increases apply worldwide. You’ll be notified ahead of time regarding the increase).
Now to look closer at my options, and, what is Apple One all about?
Apple One explained
Simply put, Apple One is an easy way to group together, or bundle up several apps that you use all the time, and save money in the process. Sounds like it should be for me, then – and maybe you too.
Looking in to it a bit further, there are three options available, depending upon your needs & uses.
- Individual – includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB iCloud storage
- Family – includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage, and can be shared between with up to six family members
- Premier – includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Fitness+, and 2TB iCloud storage, and can be shared with up to six family members
So, eyeballing those choices, for me, the obvious plan would be the Premier one. In the UK, as of writing, that will cost me £32.95/month. Paying individually for these services, I am paying £38.96/month. As far as I can tell, there is no option to pay annually for any Apple One bundle.
On the up-side, I will get Apple News+, which I don’t currently have at all. On the downside, I will be paying for Apple Arcade, which, trust me, I will never use. And, if you happen to be taking on a bundle, and currently don’t subscribe to a service, you’ll get a month free of that service. In my case, then, I will get Apple News+ & Arcade, free for one month.
Apple One bundled services can be accessed on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, HomePod, and Apple Watch.
Taking it seriously
Apple, as we know, are making good money from these services, but without acting as a whipping-boy for them, they are investing heavily, back in to the services as well. Apple TV + is a buzzing streaming service, Apple Fitness + is gaining new workouts weekly.
Clearly, we are not talking about hardware, which is ever so easy to quantify, but services, which are far more nebulous. There is no benefit in you taking out a bundle, if you are going to suddenly start to pay for a heap of services you’ll never use. But, if you find yourself in a similar position to me, an Apple One bundle would sure look like something to consider.
So, I guess, having gone through it with you today, it seems a no-brainer. I will save just under £100 a year by making the switch, and I’ll gain access to Apple News+ at the same time. Looking at Apple News+ a little more, it looks like I’ll get magazines such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, People, Vogue, and Rolling Stone. And it’s not just snippets from these publications either, but the full magazines – from cover-to-cover.
Being Apple, I assume that the switch to an Apple One bundle will be seamless enough. Reading through an Apple forum now, it’s telling me that I’ve no need to cancel any existing subscriptions. They will automatically be canceled when I’m billed for an Apple One bundle.
If you already subscribe to some services in Apple One, those subscriptions will continue, and you will get the others for free for one month. At the end of the month, your current individual subscriptions will automatically cancel, and you will start paying the Apple One plan price for everything.
I’ve got to do it, right? I can’t see a downside. It will be simpler as well. Currently, I get various, monthly bills through from Apple. This way, it will be one bill, once a month.
Whatever I do, whichever way I shake these dice, I will be paying Apple money every month. Apple Fitness + has really taken my fancy over this past week, Apple TV+ is my go-to streaming service, iCloud storage is simple, and works well for my needs…and so it goes on.
If not today, then I will be ticking that Apple One Premier bundle this week. I am glad I looked at it. It’s not a massive saving, but it’s something, at least. I’ll report back once it’s all up and running.
I think Tim should be sending me a Christmas card at this rate – oh, and some share stocks too!
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Get in the vibe and listen along to today’s chosen soundtrack. I wrote this whilst listening to get in the vibe and listen along to today’s chosen soundtrack. I wrote this whilst listening tohttps://music.apple.com/gb/album/zorina/306645018
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