Napster — remember Napster?! — announced this week that it will power iHeart Radio’s new “All Access” service, a subscription music streaming option that will compete with alternatives like Spotify, Google Play Music and Apple Music.
iHeartRadio’s “All Access” service is already available in beta for iOS and Android and will be available for everyone to try out in January, when it will also be available on the desktop. The on-demand features will allow users to search for specific songs and play them on demand, instead of using iHeartRadio to play genre or artist-specific stations, as is the current limitation.
It might seem that the on-demand music market is so saturated that there simply isn’t room for another player — Tidal is having a difficult go at it, after all — but iHeartRadio has a large customer base who don’t yet pay for on-demand music. “84 percent of iHeartRadio users do not currently subscribe to an on demand service – and now, for the first time, may be interested in subscribing to a service that provides them with the best of live radio combined with easy-to-use on demand functionality that makes radio programming truly interactive – and that they can connect directly to their music collection, something no other service or company has the assets to offer,” the company explained.
Make no mistake, iHeart Radio Plus is still available for $4.99 per month. This is a separate option. Users, while listening to iHeartRadio, can tap a single button to add tracks they enjoy right to their library. There are options to create playlists, listen to tunes offline when data isn’t available and more. Look for the service next month.