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.
I noticed it too. I definitely noticed Seacrest was hyper and fast talking his way though the majority of the segments while hyping various things. That is my biggest complaint on Seacrest. For a guy that loves the show as much as he admits, he does more harm by showing little to no enthusiasm at times to covering the artists and song on the actual charts at times. I did also listen to the Hot AC version; I noticed he seemed more calm on the exclusives to that version of the show and seems like a normal AT40. I get it with his schedule (TV and Radio) AT40 feels like a blimp for him now. Which is why I was sadly disappointed that he re-signed with iHeartMedia until 2025 because we'll get inconsistent shows like this last week's one for the next 4 years. Oh Boy! Only if Bobby Bones was more visible on TV (That would be a stretch, but I think he could handle Pop Music as well as he does Country; Also he has his own Countdown as well (Bobby Bones Top 30 Countdown).