Apple adds news to iTunes Radio, now streaming content from NPR

While iTunes Radio may be aimed primarily at music fans, Apple has decided there’s room for news too, on Monday adding National Public Radio (NPR) to its audio streaming service.

The Washington DC-based non-profit media organization said users of iTunes Radio can now access a 24-hour digital stream of its free news service, including shows such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

“What you hear today is just the start of what’s to come,” said Zach Brand, NPR’s vice president of digital media, adding that in the coming months the service will expand to include streams from member stations across the US.

The organization said the move is “just one step” in its goal to build an expanded digital listening experience and ultimately create what it described as a “Pandora for public radio.”

Although Apple pays a licensing fee to record companies and artists whose music is streamed on iTunes Radio, it’s not known what kind of financial deal, if any, was struck between the tech giant and NPR for its news content.

NPR can already be accessed via the Web or mobile apps, though its presence on iTunes Radio may serve to add to its already massive online audience, which numbers in the tens of millions. 

iTunes Radio, which can be accessed via an iDevices, Apple TV, and Mac and PC computers with iTunes, launched to great fanfare in September last year. Competing against the likes of Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio, its user base topped 20 million within a month and is now the third most popular music streaming service in the US behind Pandora and iHeart Radio.

The service stepped outside of the US for the first time last month, launching in Australia, with long-terms plans to get it up and running in more than 100 countries, according to Apple executive Eddy Cue.

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