Apple to Eliminate Free, Ad-Supported iTunes Radio

Apple has contacted users to inform them that the free, ad-supported version of iTunes Radio will be eliminated at the end of the month.

Itunes radio dead

iTunes Radio will no only be available with an Apple Music subscription, though Beats 1 radio will still be available for free. It’s not clear whether iTunes Match subscribers will still have access to free iTunes Radio; this was one of the perks of using iTunes Match in the past.

It’s worth noting that record labels get a mere pittance from iTunes Radio plays, so eliminating the ad-supported radio won’t bother them very much.

This change makes sense, since Apple is striving to eliminate all types of free streaming, unlike other services such as Spotify. It’s obvious that people will listen to music for free if they can, and Apple wants to increase the number of paying subscribers to Apple Music. But since most people simply don’t want to pay for music, it will be interesting to see if those who were regular iTunes Radio listeners gravitate toward Spotify or another service for their music.

ECM Records Launches iTunes Radio Station

Cover200x200ECM records, long a streaming naysayer, has launched an iTunes Radio station. ECM Records Radio plays a selection of music “from recently released and up and coming albums,” according to a tweet from ECM. (I can’t find any other official announcement, such as a press release.)

In initial listens, the music I’ve heard is neither recently released nor up and coming, but rather tracks from ECM’s excellent collection of jazz and world music. Many of the tracks played are quite long, more than ten minutes, and one of them, Selva Amazonica – Pau Roulo, by Egberto Gismonti, was more than 20 minutes long.

I’ve always appreciated the eclectic music on ECM, but never had the time to explore much of their content. This is a good way to discover what this great record label has in its catalogue.