Apple Music has started imposing a 99 cent charge on “free” trials in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland. No reasoning was given for this change of policy, and it seems extremely unusual to impose a fee on people looking to try a service.
The current prevailing theory is that this has something to do with Apple’s battle against music royalties. Apple had originally said that it would not be paying royalties for music streamed during the three month trial period. However, it later backtracked on the decision after drawing flak from the music industry.
AppleInsider believes that this new charge is part of a plan to recoup some of the losses made on having to pay those reinstated royalties.
Still, only three countries are affected at the moment. This could be a sort of field test to see how it affects the pickup rate for Apple Music, since people really don’t like paying for things that used to be free.
Apple has told The Verge that “Pricing and promotions for Apple Music vary from country to country.” Which really doesn’t explain anything; but may also indicate that there may be some regional regulations it’s trying to deal with.