Apple Music Closing iTunes Radio Ad-Supported Stations to Focus on Beats 1

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Apple told customers on Friday that ad-supported stations on iTunes Radio will go dark on January 28th and 29th, 2016, and that Beats 1 will be the sole free streaming radio service available to those who don't subscribe to Apple Music. iTunes Radio was launched in 2013 as part of iOS 7, but it has been replaced by Apple Music, which launched in June of 2014.

Beats 1 Splash Screen

Beats 1 Splash Screen

Ad-supported ad-supported stations originally part of iTunes Radio were included in the rollout of Apple Music, and it's those stations that are being discontinued. From Apple's email:

As a listener of ad-supported radio on Apple Music, we want you to know it's being discontinued starting January 28. Beats 1 will now be the premier free broadcast so you'll continue to get all the best music and culture there with world-class DJs like Zane Lowe and specialty programming from artists like Dr. Dre, Drake, Pharrell Williams, and more.

Additionally, with an Apple Music membership, you can access dozens of radio stations handcrafted by our team of experts, commercial-free with unlimited skips. Or you can create your own stations based on your favorite songs and artists. Start your Apple Music membership now and enjoy unlimited access to everything radio offers along with the entire Apple Music catalog.

Different versions of the email include either January 28th or January 29th as the date the stations will end depending on the market the recipient is in. Different date formats are also used according to local nomenclature, and shows popular in that market are sometimes used.

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Used to be that Radio was one of the features included in the deal for signing up for the paid iTunes Match service.  Of course eventually Apple would take away this perk.  The writing was on the wall when they removed the ability to tune Radio stations from the iOS Remote app a few months ago.

This is just a money grab from Apple to desperately try to get more people to pony up the money for their Music streaming service.

I for one have no interest in Apple Music since I have a lot of my own music and if I want to stream I can tap into Amazon Prime, Songza (now Google Play Music) and Pandora.


that Beats 1 will be the sole free streaming radio service available to those who don’t subscribe to Apple Music.

Wait what?
I thought Beats 1 was part of the paid Apple Music subscription service.


Well, whaddya know, it works.
It seemed like everything else I clicked on in the radio tab of iTunes said I needed an Apple Music subscription, so I assumed that Beats1, the flagship product, was the same. But no, it plays just fine. Not that it’s my kind of music, mind you. Maybe when they add Beats 2-5 I’ll find something I like.


That doesn’t specify if the ad-free version is going away for Match subscribers. I really hope not. I’m not enough of a music person to pay $10 a month and make playlists or anything fancy, but I really love turning on a basic, pre made station in the background while I work. Match is really about my paced music-wise.


... and the major reason for this shutdown was posted on the same day: Apple is closing down the iAd network that supplies the ads for those free radio stations.  No ads, no business model for free streams.;
Like ADDLiberator, I would have thought that iTunes Match benefits would still get this, but I suspect that it’s easier to shut that down and simplify the services than keep it going.  Let’s hope that the rumoured Beats 2-6 stations pop up by then.


Yeah, I can get it, even if I keep my fingers pointlessly crossed. Problem with Beats 2-6 is all the talking and the lyrics while I’m trying to work. (Also unlikely to get a 40’s station…

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