Apple to start charging for iTunes Radio

“Tunes Radio, Apple’s Pandora-style internet radio service, is going behind the $10 per month Apple Music paywall on January 29th,” Brendan Klinkenberg reports for BuzzFeed News. “Apple announced the move on Friday in an email to customers. Launched in 2013, iTunes Radio was an ad-supported streaming service that was available in the U.S. and Australia.”

Klinkenberg reports, “‘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.'”

“The move from an ad-supported model follows Apple’s recent exit from the advertising business,” Klinkenberg reports. “On Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported that Apple’s iAds division — which sold advertising to be displayed within iOS applications — was shutting down. iTunes Radio’s move from ads to subscription is directly related to that, a source familiar with the situation confirmed [to] BuzzFeed News.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Makes sense. Yet another “sound” reason to have an Apple Music membership.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


      1. Jubei is right – the iTunes Match service includes access to ad-free iTunes Radio, one of the secondary reasons I subscribe to iTunes Match – which gives far better value for my $25/year, than Apple Music’s $120/year gives.

        If Apple removes that, it’d be just one more reason to never choose to Apple Music.

        As for afarstar1 – learn to actually know what you are talking about.

  1. We’ve been listening to the POP channel and MIXTAPE quite a bit at home. I haven’t done the 3 month trial, so maybe this will get me onboard.

    Still, I am deadset against another monthly charge. Come on Apple. A charge for storage space for my iPhone backup, a charge for iTunes Match, a charge for Apple Music, soon to be a charge for Apple TV? Then a charge for the iPhone if I buy it through you and soon a charge for the Watch if bought through you…

    Those last two, I get, but how many separate monthly charges do you think a human being can stand to pay to the same company?

    Here’s a word: Bundle.

    Know why companies bundle things? Because it’s a PITA and unsettling to pay the same company 6 times a month.

    1. The other reason that companies bundle is to rape the customer, charging them for 10 things when the customer really only wants 3.

      Rather pathetic that Apple is so low on cash that it’s screwing its Match customers now.

      I don’t think Apple will ever offer a cost-effective bundle because it has no content of its own. Being just a middle man, Apple doesn’t really add significant value to the distribution, especially with the hobbled mess that ATV is.

      I see only two options where Apple could be the preferred distributor of media to us:

      1) Apple provides a solid platform of a-la-carte audio and video with simple, secure Apple Pay and very easy media management. To do this, Apple would have to completely divorce local media management software from its media rental/purchase store. An excellent media & software store can be all web-based, with try-before you buy and totally ad-free environment. It can be done, and with Apple’s cash pile, it should have been done 3 years ago. Instead we have Beats.

      Or 2) Apple would be better off concentrating more on hardware and less on bloating iTunes and nickel-and-diming its customers for flaky cloud services. Apple could just buy Netflix and let them manage the iTunes franchise. Cue obviously doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  2. Another good way to keep me on I♥Radio and my T-Mob supplied Rhapsody Unradio for my musical discovery.

    iTunes for Windows is what brought me to buy my first Mac, and its evolution is part of what’s making me chafe at feeling locked in…..

  3. Why?! Why would I want to pay for something which Apple treated so horribly?

    I tried hard to like iTunes Radio, I really did. It wasn’t all bad at launch aside from what seemed like growing pains. I didn’t mind the ads despite they were usually the exact same 1 or 2 ads. And stations had trouble loading metadata sometimes (artist name, song name, album art), but at least it was free and had a bigger selection than Pandora.

    Yet over time I think iTunes Radio got worse. I noticed it tended to just cut out sometimes while playing and you’d have to quit the app and reopen. Then you’d try to play that same station again and nothing would happen. I’d switch to another station and it would then begin playing that station but it wouldn’t let me replay the one I was listening to before. Eventually I just gave up and went back to Pandora for free music streaming and buying music through iTunes.

    Sorry Apple, I’m not paying you $10/month for your neglected radio service. I’d rather listen to conventional FM radio.

    1. I remember back when the issues with the ad service stopped the custom channels from playing anymore… and the solution was to be an iTunes Match subscriber.

      Apple wouldn’t fix it, and everyone thought it was great to just throw money at Apple cause that “fixed” the issue on their end… Apple never intended to fix it, cause they bought Beats about the same time.

  4. perhaps just one more sign that the bean counters are taking command ?

    starts subtly, more or less, with goodbye removeable media directing us toward the cloud for back-up (which happens to be more expensive than others who offer the service),

    then making macs with soldered in memory, requiring us make our choice at the time of purchase, at mr apples higher cost sims, but don’t dare think about adding your own, later, at lower cost,

    $10,000 gold watches,

    and please pay us to listen to our stations

    makes mr wonder if apple already saw the writing on the wall some while ago viz apple as a growth stock and is settling into value stock mode for the long haul.

    apple has always been a premium product, asking for premium prices, and usually you get good value – hell, the best value for that higher cost,

    but sometimes, like in these instances, they kind of make you feel like you are getting unnecessarily chumped.

  5. I spent some time, not much, during the 90-day trial to find something to, maybe, spend some money on, but, never found it. I think I’ve spent maybe fifteen minutes on Radio since then, never being really satisfied. So, I won’t miss it when it becomes subscriber-only, if it does. I have thousands of hours of stuff to listen to, plus the best FM stations in the world here in the Boston area, and I really don’t need some marketing idiot catering my music.

    1. We listen to the Aurora Borialis crackling overhead in Alaska! Our FM sucks, but still not going to sign up for Apple’s radio services because our cell service is as bad as our FM.

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