Despite launching much later, Apple Music is currently on top in its battle with Spotify, boasting more subscribers in the United States than the competition.And right now, there’s a good chance that you and your family might be able to save a few bucks by opting for a family account instead of separate accounts. Apple Music is far from the only service to offer family subscriptions, but its plans do work a little differently, which can be confusing.
While Spotify and plenty of other services are stand-alone, making adding family members a fairly straightforward process, Apple Music is tied into the entire Apple ecosystem. That’s great if your entire family is already all-in on Apple, but if you’re trying to add family members that use different devices to an Apple Music subscription, it can be a little tricky. Don’t worry, though — we’re here to help.
In order to follow the instructions in this guide, you’re going to need a few things, some of which are more obvious than others. First off, you’ll need an Apple ID, which, assuming you either use at least one iOS or MacOS device or at least one Apple service, you probably have. Second, you’ll need an iOS device running iOS 8 or later, or a Mac running OS X Yosemite or later.
You’ll also need an Apple Music Family subscription. If you’re setting Apple Music up from scratch, be sure to choose a Family subscription instead of an Individual subscription. If you’ve got an Individual Apple Music subscription you’d like to change to a Family subscription, it’s a fairly quick process, and detailed instructions are available via the support section of the Apple website.
Instead of functioning independently, Apple Music’s Family plan piggybacks on Apple’s Family Sharing infrastructure. If you already have Family Sharing set up and are just looking to add new family members, skip to the next section. If you’re setting up your Family subscription for the first time and have never used Family Sharing, read on.
If you’re reading this article on your iPhone or iPad, you’re in luck: You can set up Family Sharing right now in a few simple steps.
If you’re using a Mac, setting up Family Sharing is as easy or perhaps even easier than using an iOS device. The steps are just a little different.
Whether you’ve already set up Family Sharing or just followed the above steps, the next step is to add family members so they can use Apple Music, too. You can do this on your Mac, iOS, or Android device. Steps for each are below.
Now, you should be all set on your end. All that’s left is for your family members to actually start using Apple Music. All they need to do is log into Apple Music with the same credentials they use for Family Sharing, and they’ll be ready to start listening. That said, every once in a while, things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped.
One of the most common issues is that a family member might be using multiple accounts and is either logging into Apple Music or iCloud (in the case of Family Sharing) with the wrong one. If somebody is having trouble accessing Apple Music, this is the first thing you should check.
Sometimes, logging out and back in can fix issues preventing you or a family member from accessing a Family subscription. First, try logging in and out of the affected Apple Music account. If this doesn’t solve the problem, try logging out and back in to all of your Apple services. Finally, if this doesn’t work, you can try removing everyone from Family Sharing and adding them back. This isn’t fun, but following the steps above should make quick work of it. In a worst-case scenario, you can always cancel your account.
And that’s all there is to it. If reading this has you considering using another service with your family, be sure to read our roundup of the best music-streaming services.
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