Apple announces ad based iTunes Radio, ad free for iTunes Match subscribers

Apple announces ad based iTunes Radio, ad free for iTunes Match subscribers

Apple has just announced their heavily rumored radio streaming service, iTunes Radio live from WWDC 2013. iTunes Radio will tie directly into the Music app. The service will be free, but ad-based, unless you have an iTunes Match subscription, where you'll be excused from listening to ads.

iTunes Radio will allow you to browse stations as well as integrate features that allow you to create customizable playlists based on your likes. It will be available on all iOS devices as well as in iTunes in Mac OS X.

iTunes Radio will be available for free and be ad-based. If you're an iTunes Match subscriber, not only will you get it free, you'll also get it without ads. iTunes Radio will start off as being available in United States only with other countries at an unspecified later date. Most likely due to licensing issues.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Apple announces ad based iTunes Radio, ad free for iTunes Match subscribers

22 Comments

That is by far, far, far, the ugliest icon Apple ever designed. I thought it was a joke, like the Sea Lion.

So Jony hates dated real-world elements in design but this is our icon for iTunes Radio? An AM radio from the 70's? Ugh.

New music player looks nice though and awesome to hear Match subscribers will get it ad-free. I wonder how skipping songs will work, unlimited?

I am subscribed to iTunes Match, and my wife uses it on her iPhone, but I don't use it on mine (it bugs me that my explicit content is censored). So, my question is this (for any developer who is willing to break NDA to answer it): will I have to have iTunes Match turned on, on my iPhone, for me to get ad-free listening?

My itunes match songs are explicit...and I didn't buy them from itunes. not sure what issue you are running into, but I am not seeing it.

I haven't purchased min through iTunes, either. There are a few Eminem songs (Love the Way You Lie, is one) and some Blink-182 songs (Going Away to College, is another). For all others, I don't tend to notice, so I'm not sure if they're messed up or not. I grew up listening to Em and Blink, so if there's a slight difference, it jumps out at me. Do you have any advice on fixing this issue?

i wonder if it's an issue with their fingerprinting software used to identify songs. because i use Google play, well i don't use it but i have songs uploaded to it. Well when they added matching to their "upload" process i notices there were several albums that were in the store, but only some songs matched. So some half an album matched and uploaded automatically and others songs in the same album manually had to upload. I wonder if these services simply don't identify all the songs correctly or some better than other and that causes problems.

I don't know how much I will actually use this. I'll give it a spin just because it's new but I don't see myself using this that often.

I think it is nice to see it is free and a real value add for an existing service, though I do not use itunes match.

....and to piggyback off of this, you don't even need to buy a single song from iTunes, first. iTunes Match works independently(ish) from the store, at least in the context you are describing.

Wait i thought itunes match was free if for the songs i bought through itunes. Well i don't pay anything so maybe i just don't get itunes match. But the song i got free from itunes streams to my phone.

Either way it doesn't matter as i usually just listen to my own music and i've got too much already.

What you're referring to is "iTunes in the Cloud", meaning you can re-download previous purchases.

In general, I am very excited to see how this works. If I didn't have iTunes Match I would still be excited about at least trying it.

I wonder how this will integrate, if at all, with Apple TV. Will it just be an option in the Music Tab on ATV, will it be a new channel? Will it be there at all? I would think so, and hope so.......

I'm fairly confident that I remember Apple specifically mentioning iTunes Radio functionality on ATV, and that it will work just as the rest of the cloud functionality does (knows the playlists you've set up on other devices).

They did mention Apple TV. And in the iTunes Match FAQ, it talks about the fact that AppleTV will be streaming only (not download option for obvious reasons).