Today, Apple sent out a notice to customers who listen to its radio service letting them know its iTunes Radio feature will no longer be free starting at the end of January.
In the email, Apple says that Beats 1 radio will be the only free listening option available to those who do not subscribe to the Apple Music service. Customers who listen to iTunes Radio stations without ads with an iTunes Match subscription are also receiving the emails and will no longer be able to listen to radio stations as an iTunes Match perk.
In a statement, Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News:
“We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January.Additionally, with an Apple Music membership, 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 free three-month trial of Apple Music includes radio.”
Apple has quietly continued to offer ad-supported iTunes Radio stations in the United States and Australia even after the launch of Apple Music. However, with the end of its current iAd platform on the horizon, the feature will be limited to those who pay for Apple Music going forward.
Customers in Australia are receiving emails stating the radio service will end on January 29, while U.S. customers are receiving emails that suggest it will no longer be available as of January 28.