Apple recently emailed its Apple Music customers on Friday that its free iTunes Radio service will turn into a subscription only feature. Taking place on January 28th, Apple will fold iTunes into Apple Music and will take out ad-supported channels. This change will make Beats 1 the “premier free broadcast” according to Apple’s email.
According to a report by BuzzFeed, the move from an ad-supported model is said to be linked to Apple’s reported decision to abandon its mobile advertising business. Moreover, it appears the company’s exit plan is already in motion, as an ending date for iAd App Network was announced on Friday.
Furthermore, in the email, Apple noted that Beats 1 radio will be the only free listening option available to those who didn’t subscribe to the Apple Music service. Users who listen to radio stations without ads with an iTunes Match subscription are also getting the emails and won’t be able to listen to radio stations as an iTunes Match perk.
iTunes Radio came out in 2013 for iOS 7, Apple TV, Mac and Windows PCs, and gave users access to programmed streaming music playlists. Content was restricted due to the free-to-stream deal, though iTunes Match subscribers could listen ad-free.
Ending free iTunes Radio channels is also said to be a move to drive Apple Music subscription numbers up. Earlier this week, it was reported that Apple Music current subscribers stood around 10 million users, which means Apple accomplished in six months what took rival competitor Spotify six years. Both Apple Music and Spotify are priced at $9.99 per month for a single-user account.
Source info: BuzzFeed.com