Apple has joined the ranks of music streaming providers with the unveiling of their new service iTunes Radio.
The service was announced today at their WWDC 2013 conference, and is aimed squarely at challenging existing streaming giants Spotify and Pandora, as well as Google’s recently announced All Access streaming platform.
Apple’s secret weapon is the data they already have about current iTunes users’ listening habits, enabling them to launch iTunes Radio with specialist stations tailored to users’ individual tastes. Oh, and it’s also free – which might help it steer people away from subscribing to any of their competitors.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, had this to say about the tech giants’ new offering:
iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalized radio stations which have been created just for you. It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.
I’ve written before about what I think are the dangers of ‘music discovery’ that are built into services like these, and the fact the Apple will heavily gear the free iTunes Radio service to direct users to buy tracks from iTunes make it little more than a tailored ‘try-before-you-buy’ scheme.
It’s due to roll out to US users this autumn, with a UK release scheduled a few months later.