Illustration of a woman using Apple Radio streaming service
Illustration of a woman using Apple Radio streaming service, USA. 2013

iTunes Radio will become a paid service next month

Alexandre Trochut

Launched three years ago and based on the same principle as Pandora, Apple’ online radio service “iTunes Radio” leaves the freemium and is set to become a paid service starting from next month. In an email sent to its customers, Apple has indicated that this change will affect iTunes Radio by 29 January, before joining the offer Apple Music. 

Initially launched in 2013 and immediately proposed as a free listening service with the ability for brands to distribute promotional content, iTunes Radio leaves behind Beats 1 as the only freemium music service brand of Apple’ catalog and is not insignificant.

Close to many existing online radio services, iTunes Radio does not allow to control the broadcast of music and looks more like a purchase tool on the store iTunes. A user can’t move forward or back during the broadcast of a title, and the platform allows only 6 “skips” in an hour. You can neither replay a song that you would have liked.

Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of Internet software and services, introduces iTunes Radio during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, USA. 2013 – Credits : Reuters

It’s hard to understand why Apple is making this move of including this service (clearly obsolete) to Apple Music – which already offers radio stations by genre much more complete and flexible. The answer could be in the new policy undertaken by Apple which aims to stop all services sponsored by advertising: recently, iAds division that managed partnerships with brand for its advertising space was closing. Some think that it’s just the end of this service but in a soft way to not hurt his customers feelings.

Starting January 29, if you want to keep on listening to iTunes Radio stations like “Pure Pop,” “Soundsystem,” and “On the Floor,” you’ll have to do so with a subscription of Apple Music‘s $9.99-a-month paywall.