I currently pay for iTunes Match which gets me advertisement free streaming as well as a unified, cloud backed iTunes Library.

I don't understand how those existing features work with or against the newly announced Apple Music subscription service.

Is the former discontinued or credited to the new service or are they complimentary and optional to pay for either A or B or both?

7 Answers 7


Actually, the Apple Music membership page says that service brings your iTunes library to iCloud, too

It does say Apple Music and iTunes Match are "independent but complementary," but I think I'm like you — I can't figure out why I'd want iTunes Match if I'm paying for Apple Music.

The only benefit of Match is the $2 a month price point over the $10 a month price point. Music appears to do everything Match did but better and more and is priced accordingly.

  • Yes - a little bizarre when things are under wraps and recently baked. My guess is they will have better clarity before the June 30 start date. Even better, no one will be paying for Apple Music until October so there's no huge practical rush to know these answers today.
    – bmike
    Jun 8, 2015 at 20:38
  • OK - my edit now closes the loop. I get why match is around at $2 a month since it does two things, one not as well as Music presumably now that music has live DJ and human curated play lists instead of algorithmic play lists from Match and Genius.
    – bmike
    Jun 8, 2015 at 20:56
  • I think what Apple is trying to convey is that Apple Music itself is not only a paid service, as it also includes Beats 1 and Connect, which is both free. The two of them will work along with iTunes Match. But if you are to subscribe to Apple Music, it wouldn't make sense to have iTunes Match.
    – Shane Hsu
    Jun 30, 2015 at 15:32

They're two different services according to Apple: http://www.apple.com/music/membership/

The relevant text is:

Does Apple Music work with iTunes Match?
Yes. Apple Music and iTunes Match are independent but complementary


iTunes Match brings your iTunes library to the Cloud, so all your music (until 25k songs) on your iTunes Library (including unknown songs, like your friend's demos) are loaded and available on the cloud and you can listen them everywhere you're on all your linked devices downloading them instantly.

Apple Music is like Spotify; so you can listen all music distributed from Apple unlimitedly as you bought and download it to your various devices running watchOS, iOS, OS X and Android. (presumably iTunes on windows will be included later?)

They didn't talk of iTunes Radio so it's not clear if the value or pricing there will be increased, decreased or changed.

UPDATE: Reading on lot of sector sites, seems that Apple Music will include iTunes Match but I can't find any official confirmation...


Oldish question now but Apple now have a good overview of the main differences here: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204962

To summarise: Apple Music and iTunes Match both give you an "iCloud Music Library" which can be populated in one of three ways: with music matched from your original local music collection, with music uploaded from your collection if iTunes cannot find a match and if you have Apple Music, with music from the a Apple Music library.

So in short, Apple Music alone contains all the functionality of iTunes Match with the only difference being the way that DRM is applied.

With iTunes Match, all music added to your library either via matching or upload is DRM free. Uploaded files can be downloaded on other devices in their original format and matched songs in DRM free 256kbps AAC.

With Apple Music, any uploaded files remain in their original DRM free form but any matched songs, or music added from the Apple Music library, can only be downloaded on other devices with DRM and will only work while you have a subscription.

Finally, iTunes Match can still complement your Apple Music subscription because if you have both you will get your matched music DRM free though it should go without saying that Apple Music content will still have DRM even with a Match subscription.

Hopefully that's clear!

  • (or others), can you speak to the changes Apple appeared to make over the summer? It appears that the DRM element of Apple Music was removed, making the two services essentially the same on matching. However, there still is not much documentation to this end. Cf. macrumors.com/2016/07/18/… Sep 5, 2016 at 1:38

The difference is DRM (Apple music) vs DRM-Free music (iTunes Match).

  • 1
    Source? Please? Welcome to Ask Different. Jul 3, 2015 at 2:18
  • 2
    This is kind of a no-brainer. If you buy a song from Apple iTunes store it's like a physical CD or record or tape or 8-track. You get that item going forward as long as you don't lose it. iTunes Match then can store the songs you ripped (presumably own them) or purchased and Apple doesn't add DRM. If you re-download the song using iTunes in the cloud - again, no DRM. In the case of Apple Music, you aren't buying the tracks - they are a subscription and you don't get to play or keep or presumably share them with others. DRM enhances that protection presumably. Your answer oversimplifies, no?
    – bmike
    Jul 3, 2015 at 3:23

It seems that Apple Music will match all of your existing music and back up any music that can't be matched. It also gives you unlimited skipping to "Apple Music radio stations." I was confused.

From my understanding, Apple Music is basically Beats Music and iTunes Match rolled into one.


I think I get it.

Apple Music includes Match and its capabilities (license shouldn't be different, if labels already allow adding songs from iTunes Store to collection, why not add essentially the same music to your collection by upload? Adding a Maroon 5 CD is like adding a Maroon 5 album from iTunes), and for the upload of tracks not on iTunes, well it's a pretty small ~10MB of data for Apple which it can afford as part of 10$ a month.

Regarding the independent and complementary: Apple Music and iTunes Match will be kept separate subscriptions. They can work simultaneously together(complementary). That means if you don't want Apple Music and only Match, you can do it. If you get Music, you get Match too.

Hopefully I'm right and this can simplify my subscriptions, from Spotify, Match and Pandora :/

  • 1
    Answers on Stack Exchange sites should attempt to be canonical, citing sources and references where possible. This reads like you're guessing.
    – Ian C.
    Jun 10, 2015 at 4:41
  • I did say in my first line: "I THINK I get it." I am guessing. I'm just analyzing the documents that Apple has published and what we already know about Match. The picture from the first comment is what I'm referring to, I thought I didn't need to repost. Basically(what I believe is the case with the FAQ): Match works by matching songs you own, but if you're paying for unlimited streaming: it'd be the same. Uploaded songs, however few, probably would be included given Apple's deep pockets and the small size they are (max upload of 256kbps).
    – George
    Jun 10, 2015 at 23:26

iTunes music will add DRM to the songs you upload and then download.

  • We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 13, 2015 at 13:53
  • 2
    This answer is quite misleading and needs considerable expansion to be correct. Consider citing some sources and expanding on the answer otherwise it will continue to attract down votes.
    – Ian C.
    Jul 13, 2015 at 17:02

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