Apple has added its first non-music iTunes Radio station: NPR News and Culture. Accessible like other iTunes Radio stations, NPR News and Culture will stream a number of live news and recording segments from the US public radio network.
This is an interesting addition to iTunes Radio, and Apple plans to add other news stations in the future. Unlike music stations, which are designed to get listeners to spend money on the iTunes Store, this station is there just to provide content. There will be no ads; after all, this is non-commercial public radio.
If you choose Show in iTunes Store by right-clicking on this station, iTunes performs a search showing the various NPR podcasts available, many of which contain content that will be on this station. For now, there’s no schedule, but that seems to me to be something worth adding, especially if Apple is planning to roll out other talk radio stations.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Apple does with this. While you can stream NPR content via the web, in iTunes as an Internet radio station, and via a number of iOS radio player apps, having it as an iTunes Radio station makes it very accessible. (Though, when listening, you have no idea what program you’re listening to, or who you’re hearing, until the announcers tell you; which isn’t that often.) Perhaps part of the future of iTunes Radio is talk radio, paid for by those who want their streams to be heard.
Tune into NPR News and Culture and check out what’s there.