(from Billboard, September 28, 2013)
It has been a big week for Apple with the newest operating system, iOS7, coming out alongside two new iPhone models. On top of that and after what seemed like ages, iTunes Radio also came to life on September 18. The anticipation of this new type of Internet radio had competitors such as Pandora and Spotify worried about business. Critics’ feedback on the new product was steadily positive, but not gushing. Interestingly enough, Pandora’s listenership did not decrease at all on the day of iTunes Radio’s launch, but increased as it usually does during the back-to-school time as a result of students tuning in for study time.
The lack of big splash doesn’t necessarily mean iTunes Radio won’t soon be a game changer in the world of Internet radio, according to digital music expert Jim Griffin. He estimates the key here is that iTunes Radio will cause interest to grow in new places, bringing in new users to this type of radio. Griffin also foresees that with a new competitor as big as Apple, the rates for advertisements on Internet radio will rise for everyone in the market when companies are ready to renew their contracts.
Rivals of iTunes Radio aren’t sitting back on their heals after a not-so-huge response to Apple’s newest service though. It’s no coincidence that Pandora released an updated and improved version of its tablet application on the same day that the launch of iOS7 took place. Other competitors in the market still see the threat and will continue to take every precaution to stay at the top of their game.
According to many experts, consumers expect every product release from Apple to be topnotch, which is a hard standard to continually live up to, even for a major international company. Scott Riggs, formerly the head of product at Slacker Radio, stated that he liked the new service overall. Nevertheless he admitted that he expects “extraordinary” from Apple and feels as though there is some room for iTunes Radio to improve.