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Can Free Apple Music Subscription Help Verizon Maintain Its Lead?

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Free Apple Music subscription at no extra cost

Verizon (VZ) recently started offering free Apple Music subscriptions with some of its unlimited wireless plans, expanding on a program that began last year and allowed Verizon unlimited customers to enjoy free Apple Music for six months.

Under the new arrangement, Verizon wireless customers buying Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans also get Apple Music subscription at no extra cost. But customers who opt for Verizon’s base unlimited plan, known as Go Unlimited, will get a free Apple Music subscription for six months. After this initial period, the price is $10 per month.

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Competing in a saturated market

According to Verizon, it decided to expand its collaboration with Apple after learning that its customers loved the Apple Music offer. In a mostly saturated wireless market in the United States, Verizon and other operators are under pressure to defend their market share and many have taken to partnerships to try to bolster their competitive positions. T-Mobile (TMUS), for instance, last year struck a deal that gives its subscribers free a Pandora (P) music subscription for one year.

Operators’ subscriber gains

Verizon added 510,000 postpaid phone customers in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 774,000 added by T-Mobile and 69,000 added by AT&T (T). Sprint (S) lost 34,000 postpaid phone customers in that period. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Verizon added 650,000 postpaid phone customers.

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