BTIG Research: iTunes 11 feature could hint at future streaming service

By , Nov 30, 2012

As far back as I can remember, iTunes has always given users access to web radio stations. It comes pre-installed with hundreds of them, from practically every genre, from all around the world.

I’ve never really used the feature, and frankly I’m surprised that it hasn’t been eliminated yet. But according to BTIG Research, its presence in iTunes 11 could be the sign of something bigger…

CNET points to a new blog post on BTIG’s website:

“BTIG Research today wrote a blog post predicting Apple launches a streaming-music service at some point in 2013. The firm, which says that it came to the conclusion after holding interviews with industry executives, said Apple’s iTunes 11 launch yesterday is only further proof the service is coming.

BTIG Research pointed to the addition of a “Radio” option in the horizontal bar in iTunes 11, saying that while the current offering of stations “is unappealing to most consumers today, we believe the radio service can easily be updated…”

Obviously, they’re referring to the Pandora-like internet radio service that Apple is rumored to be working on. The story was first scooped by the WSJ back in September, and it has since been echoed by a number of reports.

The word is that Apple is in upper-level talks with record labels right now, in an effort to acquire the appropriate licenses. And the iAd-supported service could be ready to launch as early as March of next year.

While I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Apple come out with its own streaming internet radio platform, I doubt that the current iTunes Radio feature is related. That just seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

What do you think?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000945354629 Avery Massenburg

    The Radio feature has been out for a while now.. I remember playing around with it before 11 came out.

    • billypuntove

      first line of the article:
      “As far back as I can remember, iTunes has always given users access to web radio stations”

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    i use the itunes radio every day.. and ji want it on my iPhone

    • cruzcontrol1001

      I agree I use on my iMac at work or on my Apple TV while I’m cooking. I’ve always thought they would come out with it on the iPhone.

    • Falk M.

      Yupp.
      The only thing that nags me is that you cannot add your own stations in there and that the streaming URLs you hand over to iTunes are treated like regular music tracks.
      You cannot overwrite the station’s meta data, so it messes up your genres, etc…

  • Falk M.

    “While I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Apple come out with its own streaming internet radio platform, I doubt that the current iTunes Radio feature is related. That just seems like a bit of a stretch to me.”

    Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • SimonReidy

    It’ll be interesting to see how this will affect Apple’s regular iTunes revenue. Moving to iAd supported or subscription based streaming will surely put a big dent in their regular music sales, but I guess they don’t have any choice if they want to compete with services like Pandora and Spotify.

    I can’t even remember the last time I bought a song or album thanks to streaming. If Apple can build a service as good as Spotify built in iTunes, I’d probably cancel my Spotify subscription, so I really hope they get this right.