In an email to users, Apple has announced that it is doing away with the free, ad-supported iTunes Radio stations on January 29. As reported by 9to5Mac, the email says that Beats 1 will "be the premiere free broadcast" going forward, while the currently free stations will require an Apple Music subscription from January 29 onward.
Free, ad-supported radio stations first made their appearance as iTunes Radio in 2013 for the U.S., and later expanded to Australian shores in early 2014. The stations would algorithmically put together a streaming playlist of songs with ads interspersed every so often in a manner similar to streaming app Pandora.
The ad-supported iTunes Radio stations have existed alongside Apple Music since its launch, and their removal could be related to Apple's plans to shutter the iAd platform later this year, a move it announced earlier today.