Music by VICE

We Had a Teen Explore Apple Music Because Teens Understand Technology the Best

The three-month "free trial" isn’t "free," but at least "dads" have "money."

by Eli Zeger
Jul 1 2015, 4:11pm

Image by Eli Zeger via

Welcome to Teen Time!, the Noisey column where we have teens unpack music's great mysteries. Previously, we've had a teen ask his teachers about music, go to the mall to review music, and interview Mike Kinsella. For more teen-related content, check out all of Teen Time! here.

Teens love iPhones. Teens love Spotify. But can teens handle Apple’s pastiche of Spotify? I took it upon myself to find out. Yesterday, I installed the iOS 8.4 update on my iPhone and was rewarded with Apple Music. While perusing the brand new streaming service, I learned and noticed the following things:

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All screenshots of Apple Music by the author

1. The three-month “free trial” isn’t “free”: Turns out you need to pay $9.99 so iTunes can start billing you after the trial ends. “L” to the “ame.”

2. My dad rocks: I didn’t have $9.99 in my account, so my dad gave me some money.

Having a fully loaded iTunes account is dope!

3. Taylor Swift: She promised to remove her 1989 LP from Apple Music, which was a statement against the service’s refusal to pay artists being streamed during the inaugural three-month trial. By doing so, she got Apple to improve the service’s royalty payment terms. Swift’s a true punk, and now Apple Music has some “good blood.”

<3 taylor<="" i="">

4. 1989 is on Apple Music: I guess as a reward? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

5. Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” is a great “rainy day” song: S/O to all the Spotify and 8tracks “rainy day” playlists that’ve used “Skinny Love” already. That’s every Spotify and 8tracks “rainy day” playlist ever.

Playlists galore!

6. Playlist themes are creative: They recommended a collection of songs for which Spike Jonze directed the music videos. Hey Apple Music, think fast!

7. “All City” is a cooler way of saying “urban”: “All City” is iTunes Radio’s hip-hop and R&B music station, or what tradtional radio would call “urban.” Nice. Cities are urban places. I heard Bryson Tiller’s brooding and nebulous-sounding “Don’t.” Jamie xx’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” followed, with a similar vibe to “Don’t.”

8. And I loved "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" so much, I listened to it again: It's the only time I turned "Cellular Data" on to stream a song.

Squad goals?

9. The iTunes “Connect” list is slightly contentious: The Flaming Lips and Erykah Badu are on this list together. #drama

Related: Motherboard: Apple Music Doesn't Look Like the Spotify Killer It Wants to Be

Dang, our teen is hip!

10. They recommend albums I already have on my phone: Woah, thanks Apple Music!

Conclusion: Spotify and iTunes are two inexorable forces in the world of digital music. Apple’s attempt at a Spotify-esque service has its ups and downs, but at least it can function. Although I’m not as avid a streamer as my other pals, I’ll stick with Apple Music for the next three months and listen to some more Jamie xx.

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taylor swift
Jamie XX
Spike Jonze
Erykah Badu
The Flaming Lips
Bon Iver
Streaming Music
Apple Music