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Look out, Spotify — iHeartRadio crashes the subscription music scene

iheartradio paid offering updated screens
It’s estimated that Americans spend more than 25 hours every week listening to music, so really, we should be celebrating the entrance of yet another music streaming service to the already crowded scene. Joining Spotify, Pandora, and other similar services is now iHeartRadio, which this week released beta versions of its paid subscription plans for on-demand music.

While you may be familiar with the free version of iHeartRadio (because, you know, the radio is free), the company says that its newest offering “turbocharges the live radio experience, instead of being another me-too version of Spotify and all the rest.” For $5 a month, you can listen to the radio as you used to, but when you come across a song you’re particularly intrigued by, you can instantly replay it, save it to your custom station, and gradually curate your “My Music” list, filled with all your favorite tunes. And of course, if you don’t like a song, you’ll be able to skip it, and as many others as you’d like.

“Ten times more Americans listen to radio every month than use a subscription service, ­so the debut of iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access powered by Napster is a unique opportunity to capture these non-music subscribers with an on demand service built around radio,” said Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia.

“Whereas the LP, CD and music downloads are the ancestors of all current on demand services, the ancestor for our new on demand offerings is broadcast radio. By combining radio’s popularity and reach with interactive on demand functionality, we have created the first fully differentiated streaming music service for consumers.”

iHeartRadio believes that its new paid option melds the nostalgia of the radio with the modernity of on-demand streaming. As iHeartRadio president Darren Davis told TechCrunch, “There’s just no one who can do what we’ve done here combining music discovery and music collection and the power of the personalities of radio.”
After all, Davis points out, much of new music discovery still takes place via the radio, so even subscribers to Spotify or Apple Music are still taking to the airwaves when it comes time to find some new jams.
So if you’re in the market for more music, iHeartRadio just may be the solution for you.

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