iTunes Radio, Apple’s first invasion into streaming music, is becoming a $10 per month paid service, at the end of this month. This Friday, the company started sending emails to customers saying that its Pandora style internet radio service will no longer be a free, ad-supported service for iTunes users.
“We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “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.”
iTunes was launched in 2013 and was available in the U.S. and Australia. This service lets you start a station based on an artist, genre or song, and using its algorithm Apple serves up similar related music. However, you cannot fast forward or rewind during a song and can skip only six songs per hour. You cannot even replay a song. And if you are not a subscriber to the iTunes Match music locker service, then there will be ads to interrupt playback.
iTunes Radio is noticeably different than Apple Music which is a true on-demand listening service. You can pick what to listen, and how to listen to it. For that freedom you have to pay a subscription price. Following Apple’s recent exit from the advertising business, the company moved from this ad-supported model. Beats 1, the radio station that launched with Apple’s eponymous music service, will be the only free music offering when the changes finally go into effect.