It’s been a few months since somebody launched a music subscription service, so why not? Today, iHeartRadio, the internet radio service, is formally launching its new premium tiers: A $5-per-month ‘Plus’ plan that lets users save, replay, and skip songs, and a $10-per-month all-you-can-stream subscription service powered by Napster (the Spotify competitor formerly known as Rhapsody).
iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access come just as Pandora is putting the finishing touches on its own premium subscription service (not to mention the ones launched by Amazon and SoundCloud last year). It’s a crowded field, but the craziness comes at an opportune time: Last year, listeners streamed more than 250 billion songs, an 82.6% increase over 2015, according to new data from BuzzAngle. The explosion of subscription services is driving new growth in the music industry for the first time in years.
iHeartRadio is the digital streaming arm of iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), the radio conglomerate that owns 858 radio stations and boasts a quarter of a billion listeners overall.