iTunes Radio has been a large topic of discussion for months now, and Apple finally took the wraps off of the service today at WWDC. We thought it’d be great to have Jesse Cannon, author of Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business and the man behind Cannon Found Soundation, to do a special Industry feature today on the platform. If you want any more education on iTunes Radio or just more commentary on it, make sure to read all up on it below!
Apple announced iTunes Radio today, making iTunes a competitor against Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, MOG and Google’s streaming radio services. The service looks easy to use and clean–working itself seamlessly into the Music app in iOS as well as iTunes interface on both Mac and PCs and Apple TV. The service will be ad-supported if you do not wish to pay for it or if you don’t want the ads it will be $24.99 a year (making it the lowest priced radio service in the game) as a part of Apple’s iTunes Match service.
It seems they will be trying to make up for this low entry price with sales in the iTunes store, as well as by tapping into their already existing network of advertisers in iOS. Not to mention, hoping that when users hear a song in the radio stream, they will then want to pony up money to be able to hear it when they want. A feature that will generate cash, but also puts them at a disadvantage to other streaming services which can easily take a song offline to be listened to as often as a user wants.
While Apple has a huge advantage in adding this service right into an interface millions of people use each day, the big question is still whether they can build a good recommendation algorithm where so many others have failed. While Apple’s engineers are no doubt geniuses (I mean, did you see how good iOS 7 looks?) this has been a tough terrain to navigate and Pandora remains the only service who has put the man hours into coding a great system. Though this could easily change, if Apple’s recommendations are annoying to users, the service will go the way of Ping and die a quick death.