Apple’s iTunes Radio was introduced at the company’s WWDC keynote back in June, and has since been released to developers for beta testing for both iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. Though the music service isn’t expected to be released for several more weeks, it is already creating change in the streaming music market.
With Apple’s iTunes Radio closer to release, Pandora is lifting its 40 hour per month streaming limit. This is something Pandora implemented several years ago in order to limit the amount of music a free user could listen to and to push its paid Pandora One service (which removes ads as well). Pandora’s decision to remove the limit is not surprising, especially because iTunes Radio is already being used on thousands of devices and will be available on millions of iOS devices when Apple releases iOS 7 and new iPhones to the public next month. Pandora is fully aware of how big iTunes Radio will be and what it will do to the streaming music market.
iTunes Radio is very different from anything else on the market right now because of how it is bring distributed and how it works. Apple’s internet radio service will be made available to any iOS user who owns an iPhone 4 or newer model, which means all of those customers will be able to stream as soon as they update their devices.
Don’t forget that the rumored iPhone 5C and 5S are also on the horizon, and that iTunes Radio will also be available on Macs. However, I think the most important part is that iTunes Radio is available through the iPhone’s Music app, which is absolutely the easiest way to access a streaming music service.
This is one of the first times an Internet radio service is built into such a widely used operating system and its dedicated music application. iTunes Radio will change up the face of streaming music, moving it away from app downloads and account creation to one click listening. With iTunes Radio baked right into all of Apple’s devices, there is no doubt a lot of users will begin streaming as soon as they get their devices set up.