UPDATED: 10:19 p.m. ET: An Apple spokesperson has provided Mashable with the following statement: “For listeners of ad-supported Apple Music Radio, available only in the U.S. and Australia, we are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January. 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 Radio, Apple’s ad-supported streaming service, will soon no longer be free.
The company plans to make the service part of Apple Music, which costs $10 a month, beginning Jan. 29, according to BuzzFeed, who first reported the news. The update means that Beats 1, which launched last year alongside Apple Music, will be the company’s only free music streaming offering.
Apple launched iTunes Radio in 2013 in the United States and Australia. The streaming service is similar to Pandora and other Internet radio services in that you can create custom stations based on genres or specific songs. The service is ad-supported and didn’t allow on-demand access to music.
The company reportedly alerted iTunes users to the change in an email Friday and an Apple spokesperson confirmed the change to BuzzFeed.
iTunes Radio features have been available through Apple Music since the company’s on-demand streaming service launched last year, but users were still able to access iTunes Radio streams for free. Once the change goes into affect the only free music streaming option Apple will offer is Beats 1, its curated live 24/7 radio station.
The news follows confirmation that Apple will be discontinuing its iAD App Network, the company’s mobile ads product.