Since launching iTunes Radio some 5 weeks ago, Apple says the Pandora-like service has reached 20 million users listening to a billion songs. Apple CEO Tim Cook made the update at an event in San Francisco 10/22.
After Apple said it had collected more than 11 million unique listeners in iTunes Radio’s first five days, it took about 5 weeks to come within range of doubling the initial figure.
According to a CNet story, that likely means that many of those initial users were “tire kickers,” checking out Apple’s long-awaited online radio service right after it launched with the rollout of iOS 7 and update to desktop iTunes software.
Pandora, meanwhile, is the current leader in streaming radio with about 72.7 million active users as of last month, and it surpassed 200 million registered users earlier this year.
Eddy Cue, the Apple SVP in charge of iTunes, said the company wants to eventually bring iTunes Radio to more than 100 countries, including the U.K.. The Apple-focused news website 9to5Mac.com reported that the iPhone maker is seeking to hire programmers for the product in Canada.
RBR-TVBR observation: Reports say that since iPhone doesn’t make a distinction between iTunes Radio streaming songs and those stored on an iPhone, a car audio system built for MP3′s can now handle streaming songs, with the ability use the steering wheel controls to skip to the next song like Pandora. The song title is also displayed on the dash. However, for iTunes Radio to truly compete with Pandora and other competitors in the music streaming/discovery arena, it will have to roll out deals with the automakers to get the service pre-loaded in the dash and allow other smartphones with Android operating systems to download and play the service.