Apple have announced that they will be ending free access to iTunes Radio in favour of pushing listeners towards Beats Radio, which will remain free.
Starting January 29th Apple will begin charging for it’s internet radio service, which created procedurally generated playlists based on user input as well as your music preferences. Apple’s internet radio service launched in 2013 for the US and Australia and was largely integrated into Apple’s streaming service Apple Music to become available in 100 countries.
The service remained free-to-use for users in the US and Australia even with the launch of Apple Music, however Apple have now confirmed that it will be fully integrated into their streaming service so that a subscription is required to access iTunes Radio. Apple’s new flagship radio station Beats 1, launched alongside Apple Music, will however continue to be free to anyone.
A spokesperson for Apple told Buzzfeed: “We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January. Additionally, with an Apple Music membership, listeners can access dozens of radio stations curated by our team of music experts, covering a range of genres, commercial-free with unlimited skips. The free three-month trial of Apple Music includes radio.”
Apple also announced the news to users in an email that stated:
As a listener of ad-supported radio on Apple Music, we want you to know that it’s being discontinued on 29 January. Beats 1 will now be the premier free broadcast so you’ll continue to get all the best music and culture there with world-class DJs like Zane Lowe and specialty programming from artists like Dr. Dre, Drake, Pharrell Williams and more.
Additionally, with an Apple Music membership, you can access dozens of radio stations like Charting Now, Pop Hits and all the genres you love — handcrafted by our team of music experts, commercial-free with unlimited skips. Or you can create your own stations based on your favourite songs and artists. Start you Apple Music membership now and enjoy unlimited access to everything radio offers along with the entire Apple Music catalogue.
A subscription to Apple Music costs $9.99 a month or $14.99 for a family subscription. You can try Apple Music out for free for the first three months right now, just head to: www.apple.com/music.