What is iTunes Radio Its no Spotifykiller

first_imgEveryone has been waiting for Apple to announce a streaming music service since Pandora, Rdio and Spotify started to take off. The Cupertino crew finally made good on people’s hopes and dreams at WWDC 2013 on Monday by announcing iTunes Radio in conjunction with iOS 7. Apple talked up the service so much, it was easy to forget what it’s actually competing against. iTunes Radio doesn’t change the game.iTunes Radio is a streaming music service that will work on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, Mac, and PCs. The heart of iTunes Radio is Apple’s Genius smart playlist creator. New stations can be generated using any artist, song, or genre as a starting point. iTunes Radio will use individual listening history to shape the resulting radio stations. The more song data you provide iTunes, the smarter the streaming radio becomes. Apple describes this as a curated personal experience.Apple was careful to stress the importance of radio stations in the service. In fact, it doesn’t look like users will be able to build manual playlists at all. Services like Spotify and Google Play Music All Access allow users to select specific songs and albums to make playlists. Offline syncing is also part of the deal with these non-Apple alternatives, but iTunes Radio doesn’t appear to include that feature either.If any company has something to fear from Apple’s WWDC announcement, it’s Pandora. It’s really the closest analog to what Apple is doing with iTunes Radio. It’s a smarter Pandora, not a Spotify clone (where you can choose exactly what songs to hear).The one place Apple seems happy to let users dial in specific songs is when the time comes to buy them. At any time while listening to iTunes Radio, you can save a song to the wish list. iTunes also keeps track of every song played in one long list. The songs can be purchased directly from this interface and added to your iTunes collection. So, this service seems geared more toward encouraging traditional sales than replacing them, a la Spotify.The upshot of this arrangement is that Apple will allow anyone to stream iTunes Radio for free with ads. An iTunes Match subscription ($25 per year) entitles a user to ad-free streaming. The service isn’t set to launch until this autumn with iOS 7, so perhaps there will be some changes before that.last_img

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