It’s true: iHeartRadio will be the first outside service to be integrated into Microsoft’s Groove Music. The service will provide a key missing feature from Groove, the ability to listen to live radio stations through the Groove app on Windows, the web, and Windows, iPhone, and Android phones.
“It’s a relatively small step to make, but an important step,” Microsoft director of product marketing for the Windows Store Greg Hohman told CNET. “It completes the picture.”
It sure does. I just wish Microsoft had told someone that actually gives a shit about Groove about this enhancement.
UPDATE: Microsoft’s official post is finally up, so I’ve filled in a few more details. –Paul
Anyway, here’s what’s happening.
iHeartRadio is “the online arm of the biggest terrestrial radio company in the US,” CNET explains, and “the first outside service to be integrated into Groove … [adding] both live radio and custom stations.”
Groove already offers radio but the Radio feature in the apps today is really just about building (perhaps overly) simple playlists that are based on a single artists. What iHeartRadio will be adding—it’s not in the apps as I write this—is “real” radio stations, as we understand them. “Customers can listen to live radio broadcasts by stations such as LA’s KIIS FM and NY’s Z1oo that are owned by the service’s parent, San Antonio-based iHeartMedia,” CNET says.
Lots of new music. “With the ability to listen to thousands of live radio stations and create custom stations from more than 20 million songs and 800,000 artists, there’s a station to fit every music taste,” iHeartMedia’s Michele Laven says.
iHeartRadio already has a standalone app in the Windows Store, and in keeping with Microsoft’s frantic attempts to make this barren store seem more successful in Windows 10, Michele Laven, iHeart’s president of business development and partnerships says that the app has been downloaded four times more often than people using predecessor Windows 8 “four times more often than people using predecessor Windows 8.”
Exclusive. The deal with Microsoft is an exclusive for iHeartRadio, meaning that this service will not be integrated into other music services. But Groove will apparently be getting more service integration. Can Movies & TV be far behind?
How to use it. To access iHeartRadio without a Groove Music Pass, open Groove on Windows 10 and visit an artist’s page. If there is an artist-based custom radio station available from iHeartRadio, you will see the option right there on the page. You will need to install the iHeartRadio app if it’s not already installed. (I don’t yet see this option in Groove.)
I’d love to find out more about this. Microsoft. Cough.
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