Apple will soon begin charging for iTunes Radio before January ends. This means Beats 1 is going to be the only free music service from the Cupertino-based company.
Apple sent out an email to iTunes Radio users notifying them that starting Jan. 28, this music streaming service, which was launched to take on Pandora, will no longer be free.
“We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January,”said an Apple spokesperson to BuzzFeed News. “Additionally, with an Apple music service, listeners can access dozens of radio stations curated by our team of music experts, covering a range of genres, commercial-free with unlimited skips.”
The spokesperson added Apple Music’s free three-month trial features radio.
If you wish to listen to Apple’s hired DJs thru Beats 1, you will not fork out any penny from your pocket. However, if you prefer radio stations based on your favorite genre or artist, you need to splurge $10 every month to subscribe to Apple Music after the free three-month trial for new subscribers.
Unveiled in 2013 along with iOS 7, iTunes Radio was only made available in Australia and the U.S. For iTunes Match customers, radio stations could be streamed without advertisements. Non-iTunes Match subscribers, however, could still listen to stations but with ads.
This latest move from Apple shows that Apple Music is one of its priority services. Speculation is rife saying that Apple has already reached as many as 10 million customers in the first six months. While Apple has made no actual mentions of this number, it previously disclosed that, as of October, Apple Music had already 6.5 million paying subscribers. As a point of comparison, Apple Music’s archrival Spotify, which was launched in 2006, was not able to reach 10 million paying customers until May 2014.
Spotify is now estimated to have notched 25 to 30 million paying customers by the end of 2015.
In December last year, rumors claimed that Apple Music is going hi-resolution this 2016. Specifically, it is rumored that the company could already be coming up with Hi-Res Audio streaming up to 96kHz/24 bit.