In an email sent to users on Friday, Apple said it would close its ad-free iTunes Radio service on January 28th. Those users who’ve been enjoying the Pandora-like service will now be directed to Beats 1, a live radio show that Apple launched with Apple Music in 2015.
Apple Music customers are still able to create radio stations similar to iTunes Radio based on songs and artists, but will have to pay the $9.99 per month fee.
Meanwhile, iTunes Match users will also lose the ad-free version of iTunes Radio as well. Apple is giving a clear message: Apple Music gives similar song-matching capabilities as iTunes Radio, so users would be better using that instead of Match.
The radio service was first launched with iOS 7 in 2013. The main feature being that songs played on the radio stations could be bought from iTunes and added to your music library. But it was never intended to be a pick-and-choose unlimited music service like companies like Spotify, Rdio, Google and more were offering.
Apple Music indeed is a better service that caters better to the way people listen to music, but anyone that enjoys the standalone ad-supported radio service will have to pay for Apple Music, or find something else.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.