Apple to fold iTunes Radio into Apple Music, make Beats 1 lone free-to-stream product

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2016
In an email blast to Apple Music customers on Friday, Apple announced a change in its fee structure that will make the currently free iTunes Radio service a subscription-only feature for the first time since its launch in 2013.




Effective Jan. 29, iTunes Radio will be stripped of ad-supported channels and rolled into Apple Music as a feature addition. The change makes Beats 1 "the premier free broadcast," according to Apple's email, which goes on to tout live shows from DJ Zane Lowe and special programs hosted by big-name music acts.

According to BuzzFeed, the move away from an ad-supported model is directly linked to Apple's reported decision to abandon its mobile advertising business. It appears the company's exit strategy is already taking shape, as an end of life date was announced for the iAd App Network earlier today.

Launched in 2013 for iOS 7, Mac, Apple TV and Windows PCs, iTunes Radio gave users access to programmed streaming music playlists. Content was limited as part of the free-to-stream deal, as were song skips, though iTunes Match subscribers could listen ad-free.

Axing free iTunes Radio channels can also be seen as an attempt to drive Apple Music subscription numbers. A report earlier this week estimated Apple Music's current subscriber tally stands at 10 million users, meaning Apple accomplished in six months what took competitor Spotify six years. Both services are priced at $9.99 per month for a single-user account.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    Raise your hand if you did not see this coming. Everyone with their hand raised, smack yourselves in the face. 
    Good. Now learn from your mistake. 
    radarthekatsteviebigpics
  • Reply 2 of 68
    I didn't know iTunes Radio still existed. Where I live we have non of this services from Apple. 
    radarthekat1983
  • Reply 3 of 68
    jason98jason98 Posts: 763member
    Bye iTunes Radio - hello Pandora again.
    mike1jbdragoncornchipbigpics
  • Reply 4 of 68
    Pandora is better anyway. I never use radio station with Apple Music. And Beats 1 is just not my taste. If I want to listen to obnoxious DJ's talking over music I can just turn on any one of my local iHeart radio stations.
    1983jbdragoncornchiptrumptman
  • Reply 5 of 68
    iTunes Radio was good. Once they updated it for Apple Music I stopped using it as it went downhill. 
    lord amhran
  • Reply 6 of 68
    sachasacha Posts: 15member
    I love Apple Music and use it too listen to almost all of my music, but this is ridiculous.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I didn't know it was branded as "iTunes Radio" still.

    Either way it makes sense if you think about it. Makes the subscription more valuable/desirable.Too much free and you'll have a Pandora/Spotify.
    It was commercial-free afterall correct?
    latifbpjahblade
  • Reply 8 of 68
    I don't use or pay for any streaming services, but they may have the right idea here. It's a value add for paying customers and Apple should not be subsidizing any money losing parts of their company.
    awilliams87Rayz2016steviejahblade
  • Reply 9 of 68
    Been an user of itunes radio since beginning, now they force me back to Pandora.
    edited January 2016 mike1steviejbdragoncornchipbigpics
  • Reply 10 of 68
    I don't think it's the smartest move as it will send all these people back to Pandora etc in a heartbeat that weren't going to sub AM anyway. HOWEVER, my bigger problem is what about iTunes Match customers? Comercial Free iTunes Radio is/was a part of that. If Apple is taking that away when it was paid for, not cool.
    Rayz20161983steviebigpics
  • Reply 11 of 68
    I don't use or pay for any streaming services, but they may have the right idea here. It's a value add for paying customers and Apple should not be subsidizing any money losing parts of their company.
    Exactly. I never understood why Apple took that route to begin with.
    jahblade
  • Reply 12 of 68
    I don't think it's the smartest move as it will send all these people back to Pandora..
    Yeah but so what?
    lollivercornchip
  • Reply 13 of 68
    Folding iTunes Radio into Apple Music--is that really going to significantly increase the subscriber base.
    I doubt it. I enjoy iTunes Radio but can easily do without it, and I suspect many others will see it the same way.
    Rayz2016steviejbdragoncornchip
  • Reply 14 of 68
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    This makes a lot of sense. Since Apple Music debuted, the question that no one could answer was "What's the difference between iTunes Radio stations and the ones on Apple Music?" It was confusing, as are several components of Apple Music. While I'll occassionally miss the free stations, I completely understand why Apple's doing this. It saves them money & hassle while also simplifying consumer options.
    lolliverRayz20161983nolamacguy
  • Reply 15 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,749member
    cali said:
    I didn't know it was branded as "iTunes Radio" still.

    Either way it makes sense if you think about it. Makes the subscription more valuable/desirable.Too much free and you'll have a Pandora/Spotify.
    It was commercial-free afterall correct?
    According to the AI article it was ad-supported, so no not commercial-free. 

    Quote: "iTunes Radio will be stripped of ad-supported channels and rolled into Apple Music as a feature addition"
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 16 of 68
    Very bad idea. It won't get me to join Apple Music. It gets me back to Pandora along with millions of others. The greed factor is starting to cloud Apples judgment. 
    mike1steviejbdragonbigpics
  • Reply 17 of 68
    Brilliant marketing idea!

    iTunes Radio is so awesome, it could actually prevent users from joining AppleMusic if kept as separate free product.
    It is a huge plus for AppleMusic subscribers.
    lolliverRayz2016
  • Reply 18 of 68
    Brilliant marketing idea!

    iTunes Radio is so awesome, it could actually prevent users from joining AppleMusic if kept as separate free product.
    It is a huge plus for AppleMusic subscribers.
    After my free Apple Music trial expired I was using iTunes Radio without ads thanks to Match. I heard my first ad today. I am bummed.

    Pandora here I come. 
    edited January 2016 steviejbdragon
  • Reply 19 of 68
    So if this only affects ad-supported channels, this means channels like NPR and those of many public radio stations will still be available for free?
  • Reply 20 of 68
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,366member
    jason98 said:
    Bye iTunes Radio - hello Pandora again.
    yup.
    stevie
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