Apple Doesn't Have to Play the Free Music Game
Apple Music's family plan option will give the service life, but more is needed. The free music subscription model will eventually be too difficult for Apple to ignore.
I disagree entirely. How many times has Apple refused to play the same race-to-the-bottom game with the rest of the industry? They still don't make a cheap laptop, they don't make a $199 iPad, and they don't have a low end iPhone. And despite having all these comparatively expensive products, Apple's doing fine. In fact, they're doing better than ever!
Competing with free is a different ball game, but I still think they are going to be fine with Apple Music (assuming that Apple Music is pretty good, at least). They're the default app on the phone, which cannot be overstated in its importance. They also have a 3 month free trial which will get a lot of people in the door and using the service daily for months. When the end of September rolls around and they need to start paying, I expect quite a few people to opt in. That $15 family plan in particular is going to be huge.
Apple Music launches in about an hour and we'll see how good it is. If it's a giant turd, then this entire argument is void. But if it's a good service that nails the fundamentals, I don't think Apple has to play the free game to keep up with the current streaming champs.