Apple Kills Off Free iTunes Radio In Favor Of Apple Music

As of today, Apple’s free iTunes Radio is dead. Long live Apple Music — or at least that’s apparently the company’s plan as it officially shut down the ad-supported service today.

Apple warned iTunes Radio users earlier this month that it would be cutting off access to free stations on the service, and now it’s happening: the only way to listen to those stations now is with an Apple Music subscription, which costs $10 a month after a free three-month trial.

Now, when iOS Music app users tap on a radio station, they’re sent to a screen prompting them to join Apple Music instead.

There’s still hope for you folks out there unwilling to part with your money just to listen to music, as Apple still has one free radio station left — Beats 1, which is an ad-supported, live online radio station. Beats 1 is available worldwide with no Apple Music membership required.

“We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News earlier this month. “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.”

Launched in 2013, iTunes Radio allowed users to access programmed streaming music playlists. Users had to listen through ads and were limited in the number of song skips they could use, and content was limited.

Apple claimed earlier this month that it had passed 10 million subscribers, which would put it ahead of Pandora (3.9 million paid accounts) but it’s still lagging behind Spotify’s 20 million paid members.

[h/t MacRumors]