Today is a big iTunes and iTunes Radio news day. We learned that Apple is considered making iTunes Radio a standalone app. Then, it turns out we may be paying more for digital downloads starting in 2015 thanks to changes in VAT law in the UK. Now, it turns out that Apple has added the hugely popular news source National Public Radio (NPR) as the first news channel available on the streaming audio service.
As of this writing, it doesn’t appear that the NPR channel is active yet. A quick search in iTunes Radio under both National Public Radio and NPR produces nothing. However, Re/code claims the channel “should be live today.” It will offer a free stream, 24 hours per day.
The channel will include live news and popular segments from shows like “All Things Considered” and “The Diane Rehm Show.” NPR officials are noted as saying that some local stations will begin offering their own channels within weeks, which will include national segments, as well as possibly adding local segment shows.
NPR has been available in a number of different ways, including two apps, NPR for iPad and NPR News for iPhone, as well as streaming from the stations website and local station affiliate websites. The company hopes to expand their listener base with the addition of iTunes Radio accessibility.
“The public radio audience is very digital savvy, but there are certainly some of the millennials and other folks who are looking for their listening experience exclusively on digital, so we want to reach them wherever they are,” said NPR vice president of digital media Zach Brand.
NPR will be the first news channel to be available streaming on iTunes Radio. It is likely that this will spawn a flood of channels from other news sources looking to be heard by the millions of listeners Apple boasts.
Look for the NPR channel later today or possibly tomorrow in you Music app under iTunes Radio.