iHeartRadio is an Internet radio platform. Since its creation in 2008, the service has expanded its offerings to include music recommendations, customizable stations, podcasts, and a radio network with content from more than 800 iHeartMedia stations across the United States. In 2014, iHeartRadio introduced the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which continue to attract hosts of popular artists. In 2015, artists Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, and Sam Smith won the “Innovator,” “Artist of the Year,” and “Best New Artist” awards, respectively. iHeartRadio regularly hosts concerts in Los Angeles and New York City, with ticket contests featured across the 800 stations.
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iHeartRadio is a platform for curated music, with a wide range of features:
- The service is completely free. There are no hidden charges or paid packages available. However, you can choose to upgrade, which is not free.
- iHeartRadio offers 19 genre stations, more than 400,000 artists, 15 million songs, and 1,500 live radio stations.
- Users may create their own stations according to genre or artist. These curated stations display lyrics and artist bios and include links to purchase songs from other vendors, like Amazon and iTunes.
- All custom-made stations are commercial-free.
- While listening to live radio, the website displays a station page with links to the station's official website. The page also displays the station's genre, location, and latest tweet, in addition to the current host's name and the schedule for other hosts that day.
- Users can upvote or downvote songs as they play. Upvoting a song will make it play more often, while downvoting a song will ensure it never plays again.
- Live radio station pages display the name, artist, and album art for each song that plays. This display updates constantly, even when users aren't currently listening.
- iHeartRadio is available in an app.
- The iHeartRadio platform also offers a wide range of podcasts, sorted by popularity and category. Categories range from Health and Food to the Paranormal.
- As an online streaming service, iHeartRadio's music quality is subject to the strength of users' Internet connections. Songs are not available for download through the site, even for a price.
- iHeartRadio does not allow users to make playlists of their favorite songs, which means that users are at the mercy of the station's song order.
- Custom stations are limited to one seed, which means that users can't create stations that feature more than one artist or genre. Stations generated by artist-especially composers with a wide range of material-are rarely harmonious.
- Users can't navigate music on the iHeartRadio site using their keyboards.
- Compared to other curated radio services, iHeartRadio offers relatively few songs.
- Users may only skip fifteen songs per day, and six per hour per station. Once a user has reached this limit, the only way to switch songs is to switch stations entirely. Returning to a station will only replay the current song. The skip limit also applies to songs longer than three or four minutes.
- Upvoting, downvoting, or skipping a song cannot be undone. Once a song has been skipped, even in error, that skip counts toward the daily limit and users can't play it again until it returns organically. Once a song has been disliked, it will never play again unless a user locates it through the search tool and upvotes it independently.
- There is no option to censor explicit lyrics.
- Users can't rewind, fast-forward, or record music while it's playing.
- When using Google Chromecast or the Xbox app, users can only stream iHeartMedia-owned radio stations. Radio stations owned by other media companies are only available on the website or the mobile app.