Must be a sign that the pandemic is going away slowly. The 24 hour I Heart Station has started playing commercials again. Optional extras are also being played.
Was there a time when the iHeart station was playing commercials? I've been a regular listener since 2019 (and sporadically before that) and I didn't hear any commercials then. The classic channel (AT40 70s and 80s) are airing commercials, too, much to the displeasure of many (as already seen on these boards). So I'm thinking this recent change isn't pandemic-related.
The optional extras (sometimes listener requests) just got added in as well, so listening to a show on loop got noticeably longer; before commercials and extras, it was just over 3 hours. Previously you could only hear those on terrestrial radio (not all stations air them, though my local station has and still does).
I have been listening to this channel way before you discovered it. Back in the day even though it was an AT 40 station, you had to know when to listen to it to catch the countdown because they were playing current songs from a list. And yes, when the show was on at certain times commercials were aired. It all started with I Heart commercials, then it turned to regular commercials. As for the optional extras, they were played but not on a continuous basis.