The free ride on iTunes Radio is over. Apple on Friday cut off access to its ad-supported streaming music stations, which served music in a similar fashion to Pandora.
The stations themselves aren’t entirely gone. But if customers want to access them again they’ll need to fork over the cash for the Apple Music streaming subscription service, priced at $9.99 per month for individual users and $14.99 per month, for a family of up to six people. Non-paying customers that try to access the streaming service via iOS or desktop computer are greeted with a messages encouraging them to sign up for the service.
Previously, the ad-supported iTunes Radio was accessible to customers, albeit with limited skips per hour. Without an Apple Music subscription, the only free radio station left for iTunes customers is Beats One, a live internet station featuring DJs and hosts from around the world.
— Apple News (@applenws) January 29, 2016
With the launch of Apple Music in June 2015, iTunes Radio quietly hummed along on the sidelines. But with the decision to disband its in-house iAd team on Jan. 13, the ad-supported service quickly followed down the same path. ITunes radio launched alongside the release of iTunes 11.1 and iOS 7 in 2013, featuring music streaming stations based on genres or custom stations.