Apple has been trying to enter the music streaming market for some time, working with various record companies to come up with deals -- deals have that resulted in iTunes Radio. One of the new features in iOS 7 is iTunes Radio, which is set to be a Spotify and Pandora competitor.
iTunes Radio does lack some of the features of Pandora, but that has not stopped more than 11 million people from using the service on an iOS 7-enabled device. The figure was part of Apple's press release detailing how many iPhone 5s and 5c units it sold over the weekend.
iTunes Radio, Not Very Advanced
The act of putting together a music streaming service is by no means easy, but Pandora has had years to perfect its system of configuring stations that users like. Unfortunately, as the new kid on the block, iTunes Radio simply cannot put together "accurate" stations based around a massive collection of user "thumbs up" and "thumbs down," as Pandora does.
Many users have been skipping songs far too frequently because liking a song on the station did not always result in a similar song being played next. Since iTunes Radio has the same skip limitations as Pandora (six per station per hour) it is hard to use the service for long periods of time.
Despite being less advanced than Pandora, the announcement and release of iTunes Radio did hurt Pandora's market capital. Earlier today, Pandora lost $650 million of market capitalization, likely as a result of iTunes Radio.
However, Pandora has been on a great streak lately and has been seeing all-time highs on the stock market. Pandora's success is likely part of the reason Apple pushed out iTunes Radio. There are millions of people who use music streaming services every day, so having one built in to iOS makes a lot of sense.
The Crowded Music Streaming Market
Even though Pandora is one of the most well-known music streaming services, there are numerous others out there. Among the competitors are Google Play Music, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, and Napster (yes, it is still around.)
The vast majority of the music streaming market is already dominated by Spotify and Pandora. However, Google has had success releasing Google Play Music All Access for the Android platform. Apple seems to have copied Google in some ways by targeting its own OS with iTunes Radio.
Just because the market is crowded does not mean that iTunes Radio will fail. With 11 million users after just three days of availability, the service looks promising. As Apple builds up its collection of music available for streaming and puts together a solid music recommendation service, iTunes Radio may become the most popular music streaming service on iOS and one of the largest overall.
Posted: 2013-09-24 @ 2:34am PT
The question is whether those 11 million users will try it out and then put it aside, or whether they'll continue with it. The thing about Pandora is that people stick with it. I've been using it for quite some time, along with torch music, and even if I had an iPhone, I wouldn't switch over, even if I gave it a try.