Like iTunes Radio? Enjoy It While It Lasts, Service to End January 29th

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In an official email that’s been circulating recently, Apple announced to customers that its ad-supported iTunes Radio stations — currently available in the United States and Australia — will be getting axed starting on January 29th, 2016.

While the company is quick to mention that Beats 1 will continue to be the ‘premiere free broadcast’ option moving forward, all other radio station features — for example, algorithmic stations such as Charting Now or Pop Workout — will require an active Apple Music subscription to gain access.

Apple Music and iTunes Match Get a Welcomed BoostInitially launched in 2013, this announcement marks the official cessation of free, ad-supported iTunes Radio programming, which expanded internationally during the years of its availability, though just to one other country — Australia.

Since Apple Music debuted last June alongside iOS 8.4, everywhere else in the world has required a paid subscription to access these same radio stations. According to the email, however, from January 29th onward, no longer will free riders exist in the United States, or Australia. Bummer!

For what it’s worth, though, iTunes’ ad-supported stations were subject to several other limitations that the paid Apple Music subscribers were not. For example, users would be allowed unlimited skips on the iTunes radio stations (compared to 6 free skips with the since-discontinued free tier) because they’d actually end up paying for the rights to stream any song in the iTunes library with a $9.99/mo plan, anyway.

A portion of the email announcement is accessible below …

iDrop_EndOfAdSupportediTunesRadio_02The removal of ad-supported iTunes radio stations could possibly be a smaller part of a broader move on Apple’s end. The company recently announced an end to its iAd program, as well, so it may no longer see the need to or benefit of servicing those free, legacy radio stations.

So pretty much, in a nutshell, if you’re hoping to get some free music from Apple after the January 29th cut off date, you’ll just have to tune into Beats 1.

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