Apple Music Officially Arrives in Israel

Company launches music-streaming service at much lower price than in United States; featured Israeli artists include Arik Einstein and Static.

Yaakov Saar / GPO

Apple officially rolled out Apple Music in Israel on Wednesday. The music-streaming service will initially be offered to Israeli users for 19.90 shekels ($5.22) a month for a single user, and 29.90 shekels for a family subscription (up to six devices).

These prices are significantly lower than Apple’s fees in the United States, which are $9.99 a month for an individual subscription and $14.99 for the family plan. The service also comes with Apple’s three-month free trial period.

Apple has adapted its music-streaming service for Israel. The company has used local music editors to help create the Israeli music catalog, which is filled with Hebrew songs – including styles such as Jewish cantorial music and Middle Eastern (Mizrahi) music.

Classic Israeli artists such as Shalom Hanoch and Arik Einstein are featured, as well as more contemporary artists such as Static and Ben El Tavori – and even Dedi Dadon. And by using the search feature, you can find less well-known local artists.

Apple Music was launched in June 2015 and had 15-million paying customers as of June 2016, the company says.

Despite being relatively new, it has grabbed a significant share of the streaming market; its main competitor, Spotify, had 30 million users as of March. However, recent research has shown that Apple Music has three times the rate of people leaving (6.4 percent) compared to Spotify.

Apple Music – Guided Tour: For You Apple Music/YouTube

The service is available on computers, iPhones and iPads, as well as Android-based devices, and offers over 30 million songs in a wide range of languages and musical genres. Similar to its rivals’ offerings, Apple Music’s “For You” section helps you compile a selection of songs from the first time you log in and choose your favorite artists and styles in various categories, with a convenient interface.

After your first log-in, you can update your favorite artists and songs by marking them with a heart. You can compile your own playlists and listen to radio stations, too.

Apple Music also has its own recommended playlists, along with radio stations it categorizes by genre.