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iHeartRadio plays catch-up with on-demand music

Engadget Engadget 24/09/2016 Andrew Dalton
© Provided by Engadget

Although it was born out of terrestrial radio, iHeartRadio has been working hard to go beyond just streaming FM stations to your phone or Apple TV. The company set its sights on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music's Beats Radio with last year's introduction of personalized radio stations. Now, iHeartRadio is ready to announce two new on-demand subscription services of its own, coming in January 2017: iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access

All Access is the company's shot at Spotify and Apple Music -- a straightforward, on-demand streaming service reportedly priced at $10 per month to compete directly with the leading services. All Access will offer all the features you might expect from a streaming music service, along with iHeartRadio's library of 30 million tracks and a few radio-oriented features like the ability to instantly save or replay songs from live stations and offline listening.

While it might seem like a late arrival to the on-demand streaming game, iHeartRadio already has 90 million registered users that CEO Bob Pittman thinks it can convert into paid subscribers. "There's this huge piece of the population that does not spend money in any form on music," Pittman told TechCrunch. "We think this is the kind of service that will begin to get them to spend on music."

On the other hand, iHeartRadio Plus is a lower-priced service intended to bridge the gap between your existing on-demand music subscription and listening to terrestrial radio. If you're the sort of person who still appreciates the human touch of a certain radio jockey or local radio station, Plus turns that into an on-demand experience so you can stream your favorite shows whenever you like.

Both services debut in January 2017 and, while there's no official pricing yet, the New York Post reported All Access will come in at a $10 price point and Plus service will cost $5 per month.


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