Our intern Adam weighs in on everything that happened at yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Apple introduced new changes to some of its products at its annual developer conference on Monday. While the company released details of its new iOS mobile operating system and improvements to Siri, the biggest news of the day was the announcement of iTunes Radio.
This new music streaming service will compete with the well-known leaders of the music streaming market such as Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. Apple’s new version will be released, but will only be available in the U.S. at first, according to Bloomberg.
The Rest of the World Will Have to Wait for Apple’s iTunes Radio (@markmilian / Bloomberg)
Apple’s iTunes Radio is very similar to Pandora, according to Tech Crunch. With iTunes Radio, users can create custom radio stations, give a thumb up for songs they like, and skip a certain number of songs. Apple’s music service also allows users to go straight to iTunes to buy song that they like.
Mashable compares all the Internet radio players and shows how iTunes Radio will stack up against its competitors. Apple’s big advantage comes from its ability to access all 26 million tracks in the iTunes catalog. In comparison, Pandora’s library only contains 1 million songs.
Many of the other music streaming services are already established with a large user base. Pandora is the largest Internet radio player with over 70 million users, while iHeartRadio is second with 48 million users. While Apple has access to the 600 million iOS users worldwide, Media Post helps explain why Pandora will continue to be successful.
Pandora has high customer satisfaction ratings from its users. Even more importantly, however, is the fact that 80% of Pandora’s business comes through mobile devices. Apple’s iTunes Radio is limited to the iPhone, which currently holds less than 40% share of the U.S. smartphone market.
If Apple succeeds in becoming a big player in this market, what does that mean for the advertising world? The new iTunes Radio will display ads except for those users that pay $24.99 for the iTunes Match service.
Apple’s iAd division will allow iTunes Radio to segment its users and target them with specific advertisements. According to Media Post, Apple is more suited to sell national ads, while Pandora and some of the other Internet radio players focus on local advertisements.
The facts are in, but it is too early to know how well iTunes Radio will compete.