requires subscription Apple Music for streaming iTunes Radio
As announced earlier this month, Apple on Friday discontinued free access to ad-supported iTunes Radio channels, folding the content into Apple Music as part of a broader push to grow adoption of its subscription service.
One of the main reasons Apple was able to eventually make the deals with music publishers to create Apple Music was that Apple promised there would be no free version of the on-demand service, like there is on competitors like Spotify, so record companies could be assured a certain amount of revenue. For a while, Apple let that idea slide a bit (to get people hooked, as good companies do), but now iTunes Radio is no longer free. iTunes Radio was the holdout, offering ad-supported streams to users, because the service had been in place since 2013.
However, iTunes Radio no longer offers a "free", ad-supported version of the service, and if you want to still have access to those streams, you will have to pay the Apple Music subscription fee. Apple Music's Beats 1 will now be the only "premier free broadcast" offered, because that service is not on-demand. Of course, if you like having on-demand radio mixes, this doesn't mean you need to start paying for Apple Music.
There are still plenty of options to get you what you want. Spotify and Pandora still offer on-demand radio mixes based on a song or artist that you're feeling at the moment. And, Google Play Music offers free on-demand radio not only based on a song or artist, but based on your mood or what you're doing.