Apple's iTunes Radio Expected to Launch in September
As Apple prepares to announce its latest product lineup next month, increasing speculation has begun to grow over iTunes Radio, the company’s planned streaming music service. In tandem with major product refreshes of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the release of Apple’s free radio service is expected to rival other similar streaming music outlets like Pandora Radio and Spotify. A number of major brand names, including McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi and Proctor & Gamble, are rumored to be partnering with the tech giant’s latest music venture.
The anticipated release of iTunes Radio comes several months after Apple officially announced the streaming service at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, as Apple attempts to capture a demographic of streaming music listeners that Pandora has dominated for the past several years. Similar to other streaming music services, iTunes Radio will offer playlists and artist recommendations that are generated based on the user’s unique iTunes purchases and music library.
iTunes Radio also presents a marked shift in Apple’s standard digital music business model, which primarily relies upon a “pay-per-song” pricing model. Like other streaming audio providers, iTunes Radio will instead be free to use, and revenues will be raised through advertising partnerships. Although the specifics of iTunes Radio’s ad-supported funding remain unclear, it is likely that user streams will be paused occasionally for mandatory audio and video advertisements. Apple has stated in a recent press release that those enrolled in Apple’s iTunes Match program, which gives users the ability to store their iTunes library to Apple’s iCloud for a yearly $24.99 subscription, will be given a commercial-free version of iTunes Radio.
Apple’s semi-annual special event is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 10. A request for comment from Apple was not returned.
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