Confirming previous reports, Apple will indeed be releasing its own radio service, iTunesRadio. While similar in scope to Spotify and the recently-released Google Play Music All Access, it looks like it’s got Pandora set in its sites. While it was thought to be available as soon as this week, iTunesRadio will instead become available in the fall for iOS, iTunes, and Apple TV with the release of iOS7.
Like its competitors, iTunes Radio will be ad-supported, unless you are an iTunes Match subscriber, in which case there will be no advertisements. One of the biggest innovations of Apple’s product is access to the iTunes store. The service will allow users to buy songs directly from the store as they’re playing on the radio app. It is very similar to Pandora in the way that you can create your own station as well as the way the app appeals to your interests based on the music you choose to play. There is no information on whether the number of skips between songs will be limited like they are with Pandora, but the app will allow users to find songs currently trending on Twitter, as well as being able to go through previous songs that have been played.
Though Apple is late to the music streaming party, it will be interesting to see the reaction the app gets once it kicks off in the fall. You would think that sales through the iTunes store would rise once users find songs that they have not previously heard and want them in their own personal collection. But do listeners really want another free music streaming platform? With the connection to its store, Apple sure hopes so!