Many are calling it the new Pandora. Others are comparing it to Spotify, another popular digital music service. It’s a new free streaming radio, and in its first five days on the market, it attracted 11 million users. It’s iTunes Radio-- and it’s here.
Much like Pandora, the eighth most-downloaded smartphone app in the world, iTunes Radio offers users customizable “stations” based off of particular songs, artists, or genres. iTunes Radio claims to go even farther than its competitors by building its selections around the music in your phone’s library. Based on what songs you have bought and play most often on your device, the service can choose similar songs to play on your set stations. But is iTunes Radio really beating out its competitors?
Tabitha Liucci, a freshman at NHS and one of the multitude of users of Apple’s new service, says that she likes iTunes Radio “because you can add songs right to your iTunes Wish List.” If you like a song enough that you would want to buy it, iTunes has made it simple for you to purchase it. By clicking one button, you can simply buy the song or add it to your Wish List.
Apple has also made their radio extremely accessible from essentially anywhere around your device. By integrating the play, pause, “play more like this” and “never play this song” as well as “add to iTunes wishlist” buttons right on the home screen, Apple has successfully consolidated the controls for the service in a simple way to navigate. iTunes Radio also has fewer advertisements than Pandora does so far; in fact, there are barely any at all.
The new streaming service, however, lacks any social aspect, which is a major draw for users of Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and other similar apps and sites. Because it is so new, iTunes Radio has less interaction with listeners and therefore lacks intelligence that many of the older apps possess. Apple has set about fixing that problem by using their users’ music library content to make inferences about what songs they would like.For now, it is hard to tell if iTunes Radio has a leg-up over its competitors. However, the usage within its first week on the market makes the future for iTunes Radio look extremely bright. Try it out and decide for yourself.