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Apple Ceases Free iTunes Radio Streaming Worldwide

Apple today officially ended free streaming of its iTunes Radio channels worldwide, incorporating the catalogue of stations into its subscription-based Apple Music service.

The change follows Apple's announcement earlier this month that its free radio-listening feature would be discontinued at the end of January but would remain available to Apple Music subscribers.

As of this morning, iOS Music app users who tap on a radio station are bounced to a screen prompting them to join Apple's premium streaming music service.

Apple Music prompt
Likewise, iTunes users on a Mac who attempt to access the stations or create their own are met with a dialog window asking them to "Get on Our Wavelength" and join Apple Music.

iTunes Radio Mac prompt
Users with an iTunes Match subscription are also no longer able to access the stations. However, Apple's Beats 1 radio channel remains available to iTunes users worldwide as a free listening option.

Apple had quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music on June 30, 2015. However, after the company's decision to wind down its mobile iAd platform, the feature was already being limited in other regions to those who pay for Apple's streaming music service.

iTunes Radio was originally released with iTunes 11.1 and iOS 7 as a free ad-supported service, offering music discovery through featured and genre stations provided by Apple or through the creation of new stations based on a specific artist or song.

Top Rated Comments

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47 months ago
I'm an Apple Music subscriber, so it doesn't affect me. But this is a classless move inasmuch as iTunes Match subscribers just had a perk of the service they were paying for taken away. Not cool, Apple.
Rating: 47 Votes
47 months ago
iTunes and the Music app on the phone have become so cluttered you can't even tell what is what anymore.
Rating: 29 Votes
47 months ago
I don't see how this goes well for Apple and the iTunes Store. I listened to several stations to hear new music that I would later buy. Now I can't listen to new music so I guess I won't discover or buy much now. And I will not subscribe - I pay once only for a song. The drug dealer model, I will not support.
Rating: 25 Votes
47 months ago
Totally sucks. I liked the Chill and Classical stations. Aren't the premium prices we pay sufficient to have at least a few free radio channels?
Rating: 23 Votes
47 months ago
Apple giveth, Apple taketh away - as usual.
Rating: 21 Votes
47 months ago
wow...didn't even notice. guess not using it does that
Rating: 20 Votes
47 months ago
Boo. This sucks Apple
Rating: 14 Votes
47 months ago
I applaud this decision, as it really clarifies the options to the customer.

You can now (either/or/both):

• buy songs/albums from the iTunes music store

• subscribe to Apple Music and stream songs either directly or through 'stations'

I like paying for music.

I believe musicians should be paid for their creative endeavours.

I pay for an Apple Music family subscription as that's currently the best method for me to pay while being able to discover new music that I otherwise would not have heard.
Rating: 14 Votes
47 months ago
So now we have yet ANOTHER useless button in the Music app on iOS. Thanks Apple. When I tap that my only option is Beats 1, the over other link on that page is for a radio station that won't play.

I'm so glad I went with Google Music. Now I'll do everything I can to avoid opening the Music app. I wish I could somehow uninstall it.
Rating: 13 Votes
47 months ago
Is Apple aware of what other services offer for free? Spotify on desktop is so far above any offering that this move will only certainly hurt Apple.

There is a section of my grocery store that used to give out free samples of yogurt covered pretzels and I would always swing by for a bite. So I started buying cases of them for long road trips cuz they were really good. Now they got rid of the free samples, and I just tend to forget they're there.
Rating: 13 Votes

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