Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Ad-supported iTunes Radio stations going off the air

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

There’s no such thing as a free radio station. Apple’s been providing ad-supported iTunes Radio streaming to all of its users, but according to an email sent out last week, those days are coming to an end. As of the end of January, the only thing all users will have access to is Beats 1–for anything else, you’ll need to shell out for an Apple Music subscription.

This is a little disappointing: I’d been enjoying the Star Wars iTunes Radio station for the past several weeks, and I’d used some of the others from time to time. But I suppose with the restructuring of iAd it’s not exactly a shocking development. I’m not sure it will draw more users to become Apple Music subscribers, but I suppose it draws sharper lines about what is and isn’t included in Apple Music subscriptions.

Anyway, does this mean I’ll be able to remove the big honking Radio tab from my iOS Music app?

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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