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iHeartRadio Makes Playlist Radio Available for Free

Over 1,000 playlists available, many updated weekly

The music for a great party, workout, or a monumental road trip begins with the perfect playlist. The right genre, along with a tasteful mix of familiar and less-well known tunes can really set the mood. But sometimes, the lack of free time and/or and an extensive music library can make the creation of your own ultimate music mix a bit challenging. But wait, iHeartRadio has a solution.

Playlist Radio, says iHeart, is a collection of over 1,000 playlists that have been curated and programmed by station DJs as well as iHeartRadio staff. The intent may be to move away from computer algorithm-driven music selection and give music a human touch. iHeartRadio’s Chris Williams elaborates “We have some of the greatest music curators on the planet within iHeartRadio. We have the best radio programmers, music directors and program directors that are out there curating every single day for their radio stations. So we tapped into the resources that we had there, as well as finding some external expertise.” He adds that many of the playlists will be updated weekly.

[Read: iHeart Highlights New Integrations at CES 2018]

Previously, these playlists were reserved for iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access on-demand subscribers. This change in policy means that all of the over 110 million registered users can hit play on iHeartRadio’s music playlists and get free access to iHeartRadio’s artist-created, genre-based, activity-focused, musical-era and theme-based playlists. Initial rollout will be on iOS, Android and the desktop, the company says, but will also soon migrate to other platforms.

Playlist Radio seems to be a hybrid between streaming radio and premium service playlists. On the down side, you can’t change the order of songs, delete songs you don’t like, or play your favorite song on demand. As with most free music services, the only control you have is the option to skip up to six songs per hour.

The announcement from iHeartRadio comes at a time when the competitive landscape in the online music business just keeps heating up. The move may represent an attempt to get a leg up on the likes of Amazon, Apple and others.

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