Staying at the head of the pack when it comes to music downloads is always going to be a difficult task and there will always be a need to innovate for your customer and provide a more progressive service as time goes on. With the rise of services such as Spotify and Pandora, iTunes needed to develop its offerings to service the customer in a different way. Our demands changed and now the software must change too.
Along with then new look version of iTunes, changes have been made to a number of the services that it can offer. Yes the default music library is there, yes the chance to buy your music from a huge library in the Apple store along with podcasts and video, but the biggest and newest addition to the service has been the introduction of iTunes radio.
It’s radio, but not as we know it
Ok so the new service isn’t actually radio as you know it. Traditional radio on FM/DAB etc. is still a wildly different product from what iTunes are offering. Running in the iTunes program itself or as a standalone app for iOS devices and Apple TV, it gives you, the customer a new way of consuming music or discovering something new. If you’ve used the likes of Spotify for a while now, you’ll be fairly familiar with how iTunes radio is going to work. You’ll input the type of music you like, list a few artists and then the service will select songs based on your tastes. If you like what you hear you can vote for it as a rated track to hear again or buy it. (The ‘buy’ logo features prominently in the service. The service will make a number of choices for other songs going off the data you’ve added and then you can make the call as to whether you like them or not. There is sadly no share buttons on here so you can’t tell any of your friends about that amazing new song you’ve just heard.
Sadly the service is limited and currently only allows for six songs to be streamed per hour, so calling it radio is probably a little bit generous. However the service does remain popular. Upon launch in the United States, 11 million customers tuned into iTunes radio inside its first five days. That’s a pretty major number for Apple to mention at any conference call. IT has also changed since the introduction of Apple Music – rivalling Spotify and Tidal.
The future of the service going forward?
So far iTunes customers are getting their first real experience of this service and are genuinely enjoying it. Despite its limitations, iTunes radio gives music consumers a new unique way in which to use their accounts. Making a call on new music discovered through the service is something that will always be enjoyable and it will be a fun addition to the iTunes platform. How Apple service it going forward is anyone’s guess at the moment and upon launch in the UK they will be expecting a high volume of customers contacting them.