After years of speculation, Apple on Monday finally released iTunes Radio, Cupertino’s take on a streaming music recommendation service.
iTunes Radio, of course, is entering a market already populated by some heavy-hitting competition, namely Pandora and Spotify. While Spotify is unique (and amazing) insofar as it allows users to stream specific songs on demand, Pandora’s bread and butter is in furnishing users with new artist and song recommendations based on their musical tastes.
With Apple now entering the fray, some have postulated that Pandora will take a huge hit.
Pandora, however, doesn’t see things that way.
Speaking to Mashable following Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote, Pandora corporate communications manager Amanda Livingood explained that iTunes Radio merely brings Apple up to speed with the rest of the playing field.
Apple’s new feature is an evolution of their iTunes offering to bring it on par with other streaming music services that have added radio into their feature sets.
What’s more, Livingood touted the fact that Pandora has been working on music recommendation algorithms for more than a decade.
We have spent the last 13 years singularly focused on redefining radio.
[We] benefit from unrivaled intellectual property, deep experience in delivering personalized playlists, and ubiquitous product availability across every platform.
Pandora announced this past April that it had passed the 200 million registered user milestone. Of that group, Pandora says that 140 million users have accessed its service from a mobile device. That said, with iTunes Radio on the horizon and set to ship with every iPhone, it’ll be interesting to see if a) Pandora’s subscriber growth slows down and b) if the number of active Pandora users takes a discernable hit.
Of course, one of the more important factors in assessing the potential for iTunes Radio is how on-point its music recommendations will be.