iHeartMedia, the largest radio broadcasting company in the U.S., pulled the curtain off a beta of two services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access, the latter of which use the streaming infrastructure of Napster (previously Rhapsody, longest-running music streaming service). The services will launch full in January, 2017. Users can opt in to a 30-day free trial by downloading or updating the app.
This new services, which build on top of the already-popular iHeartRadio streaming platform, provide functionality that has never previously been available users, it shows that even the biggest names in the radio business are seeing on-demand as the future of streaming music.
iHeartRadio Plus costs $4.99 a month and iHeartRadio All Access costs $9.99 a month. iHeartRadio All Access, which was developed by Napster, comes out with offline listening, more flexibility on creating playlists and the ability to build a personal music library along with radio listening.
While iHeartRadio might not have as much name recognition as Spotify or Apple Music, it is one of the biggest music-related companies out there. Its parent company iHeartMedia, previously known as Clear Channel Communications, owns 858 radio stations, serves a ‘quarter of a billion’ monthly listeners.
Like Pandora, iHeartRadio claims that it can carve out its own market in music streaming because most of its listeners don’t pay for a streaming service. Its service is just targeted not toward Spotify users who want to curate the playlists and listen to every new album, but to the listeners who like old-fashioned radio but just want a little more control.