Apple said it will soon start charging for iTunes Radio, its music-streaming service that competes with Pandora Media Inc.
iTunes Radio, which was announced in 2013, will no longer be free from the end of January, Apple said in statement.
The ad-supported service, available only in the United States and Australia, will be folded into Apple Music, which costs $9.99 (roughly Rs. 675) a month.
Beats 1, the global 24/7 radio station, will now be the free music option for listeners.
Apple may also have plans to introduce more live streaming Beats radio stations to Apple Music. Recently filed trademark applications reveal the company’s intention of adding four more radio stations to the music streaming service. Beats 1 radio is one of the headline features of Apple Music.
The speculation of the new Beats radio stations revolves around the company applying for trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) covering names and logos of Beats 2, Beats 3, Beats 4, and Beats 5.
Apple Music in December was reported to have more than 10 million paid subscribers. The achievement comes roughly six months after the company released its app for iPhone and iPad, and roughly two months after it released a beta version of the app on Android. To compare, Spotify had 20 million paid subscribers as of last June.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times reported that Apple’s music streaming service has hit the 10-million paid subscribers milestone. The impressive figure shows Apple Music’s quick adoption and Apple’s reach, as Spotify, presently the most widely used music streaming service has 20 million paid subscribers as of June 2015. It took the company six years to reach the 20 million figure. Spotify hasn’t revealed an updated figure since.