If you’re happily subscribed to Apple Music, then Apple would like you to do a little promotion for it. Apple has started sending out push notifications to Apple Music subscribers telling them that they can refer a friend and gift them a free month of service. There doesn’t seem to be anything in it for the subscribers who actually refer those friends, aside from whatever satisfaction you might be able to derive from hooking your friend up with a free month to a music streaming service.
Obviously, the friend you refer can’t already be an Apple Music subscriber. If they’ve never been subscribed to Apple Music before, the free month they get from your referral is added to the three free months Apple offers along with all new sign ups, giving them a total of four months on the house.
That isn’t bad, by as 9to5Mac points out, Apple runs the risk of annoying users by advertising this promotion through push notifications. By doing this, Apple is actually breaking its own App Store rules, which prohibit developers from using push notifications for marketing or promotional purposes. While Apple can obviously do what it wants with iOS and the App Store, it isn’t exactly a good look to be ignoring the rules you hold everyone else to just because you’re in charge.
In any case, those of you who weren’t annoyed by the notification can tap on it to be taken to a page that will let you send a gifted month of service to someone. If you were annoyed, it’s probably best to just head into the Notifications menu in Settings and turn off notifications for Apple Music, because this probably won’t be the last time Apple advertises stuff about the service this way.
As of May 2018, the last time Apple itself delivered an updated subscriber count, Apple Music had surpassed 50 million users. Though that’s nothing to stick your nose up at, Apple Music still lags a fair amount behind Spotify in terms of global subscribers, so perhaps that’s why we’re seeing this play for new sign ups now.