Throughout the 21st century, Apple Inc. has been a market leader in the technology world by continually releasing innovative products that are simple and easy for anyone to use. If you walk around the airport for two hours, I can guarantee that you see iPad users between the ages of 3 and 93. Apple has built its empire by developing bold new products that are two years ahead of the competition. But Apple has recently decided to become a late entrant in the music streaming industry, the fastest growing form of music listening. The company announced on Monday that iTunes Radio will be launched this Fall as radio streaming player for all Apple products.
Strong Field of Competition
Apple faces a lot of competition in the music streaming field. Pandora Radio is currently seen as the market leader for web radio streaming. Pandora has been perfecting its recommendation service, media player, and user experience for the last 13 years. The company was reported to have over 150 million users. Another key player is TuneIn Radio which offers users over 70,000 global radio stations from every continent. Many tech heavyweights are getting involved as well. Facebook partnered with Spotify which allows users to search directly for artists and songs through a catalog of approximately 20 million songs. Users can also share playlists, listen to radio stations, and set up feeds that tell Facebook friends what song you’re currently listening to. Twitter has also talked about starting a music service that suggests songs for user; Google just announced Google Play Music All Access ; and the list goes on.
Will iTunes Radio Be Successful
I think that iTunes Radio will be a success story for Apple. While I’m not used to Apple coming into the field as a second mover, I like what they’re doing here. The iTunes Store pioneered the sale of digital music when it opened on April 28, 2003. It is now recognized as the biggest music vendor in the world with a catalog that consists of over 26 million songs. Apple’s iTunes Store already has a larger database of songs than established names in the music streaming field such as Spotify. Since the new trend for music fans is to listen to music from large libraries rather than purchasing individual songs or albums, why wouldn’t Apple join the radio streaming field?
My Reasons for iTunes Radio’s Success
Sure Apple is copying the competition in a field that’s already filled with every tech giant imaginable. But unlike Google or Twitter, Apple has been delivering incredible products to music fans for years. The iPod revolutionized the way I listened to and stored music. I don’t know anyone who never owned an iPod at some point. Even people who decided to get the Microsoft Zune still bought an iPod. And iTunes has been the best media player and library software since its initial release in 2001. Apple iTunes Radio is going to be a mix of the best qualities of all the current music streaming stations. The more I play music in my iTunes library and use iTunes Radio, the more personalized the experience becomes. This is perfect because all of the music that I have collected this past decade is already stored in my iTunes library. With iTunes Radio, I can select any song in my music library and it instantly builds a station around it. Plus, Apple is creating adjustment features where you can control the balance between discovering new songs and playing the hits. I am a huge fan of the playlists built by iTunes Genius so I trust that Apple will develop or use similar software for iTunes Radio. Another advantage that iTunes Radio offers is the ability to purchase and download tracks that I’ve listen to directly from the iTunes store. Everything I listen to on iTunes Radio gets stored in my history so when I really like a song all I have to do is tap buy, and the track is instantly added to my iTunes. How awesome is that! I have listened to so many amazing songs on Pandora that I want to immediately download and add to my iPod, but never get the chance to.
The only two Apple products that I own are an iPhone 4S and an iPod Classic, so I’m not one of these diehard Apple guys. I just think that they know what they’re doing when it comes to the digital music industry. I can’t see Apple overthrowing Pandora at the top of this field, but they will definitely thrive. Apple has a very strong customer base and does a great job of creating brand loyalty. I predict that many people will convert to iTunes Radio when it comes out in the Fall.