Back in mid-2013, long before Apple had a full-on streaming music service to call its own, the company launched iTunes Radio. The ad-supported service worked similarly to Pandora, creating a radio station for you based off of an artist or genre. It’s served as a free way for iOS users to enjoy some tunes, but later this month, it’ll no longer be free.
Apple is sending emails to iTunes Radio users that the service will be discontinued on January 28. After that date, those users will need a paid subscription to Apple Music to listen to the iTunes Radio station that they’ve been using since 2013. Apple will still have a free radio station available, though, with Beats 1 being its free radio offering.
We haven’t really heard much about iTunes Radio since its launch in 2013, but Apple has continued to offer it as a free service for iOS users. However, since the launch of Apple Music in mid-2015, Apple has been placing a large focus on its streaming service and Beats 1. The company has gotten several major names in the music business to be a part of Beats 1, including Zane Lowe and Dr. Dre, and in that process its put a bunch of other radio stations behind the Apple Music paywall. Considering all of that, it makes sense that Apple Music would gain the iTunes Radio, too.