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Quickly Examining ITunesRadio

ITunes Radio ReviewWith its release of iOS7 today, Apple’s ITunes Radio service made its way into the wild. Here’s some quick thoughts on what it features.

The service currently highlights 24 “Featured Stations” which vary from Guest DJ’s Katy Perry, Jared Leto, and Diplo to a stream dedicated to The Beatles to International Hits. When launching some of the streams you get imaging explaining the programming or in the case of the “Pepsi Pulse Pop” channel a video commercial for Pepsi.

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The hosted channels appear to be operating off a strict playlist that will pick up exactly where you left off. The first song you hear on Katy Perry’s hosted channel will always be her new single “Dark Horse”. In terms of promotion this will maximize exposure to the song if the PR machine hypes ITunes as the only place to hear the premiere of this or other songs in the future.

Some of the playlists appear to be focusing on niche’s that are missing from traditional radio: Traditional Jazz, Video Game soundtracks, Classic Rock Deep Cuts, International Hits, and Chill. There’s multiple variants on CHR through the Top 100, Pepsi Pulse Pop, and even the channel playing nothing but Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Robin Thicke.

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There’s also the ability to create your own channels based on artists or songs that works just like it does on Pandora, IHeartRadio, or any other service that has that feature.

Overall the presentation of the programmed channels feels more along the lines of what you’d hear on SiriusXM as opposed to Pandora. The tie-ins with artists and brands combined with the clout of having the service on every iOS device and any computer with ITunes installed will quickly give Apple the opportunity to become a power player in the digital radio space.

I’m intrigued enough with the service to continue using it over the next few days. Please share your thoughts on whether ITunes Radio shows enough promise for you in the comments section below.

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Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of homerjay


    I’ve been using it for some long stretches since installing iOS7, and definitely like it. It may be a bit behind Pandora right now on the range of categories you can select to get started, but it’s still a solid launch lineup.

    It seems to me it’s not a Pandora killer–more like one additional player in the market. Pandora has a huge head start in availability. Not to diminish Apple’s reach, especially on a day that’s expected to kick off record sales of new handsets, but still, when you factor in the Android universe, the connected devices with Pandora apps already, like my Blu-Ray player, and even the non-iOS7 compatible Apple devices still out there that can still use Pandora but not iTunes radio (among them, my one and only iPad….heck, I can still use Pandora on my first generation iPod Touch), that lead offers a substantial cushion to Pandora.

    That’s not to say one is better than another–the more choices, the better, as each will appeal to different audience segments, large or small.

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