Well, we all thought it would just be called iRadio, but close enough. At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco 6/10, CEO Tim Cook introduced the new music streaming service. It will be built into iOS 7’s music app (as well as the next OSX update), featuring easy access to radio based on your music collection. It will be ad supported, but commercial-free to iTunes Match subscribers.
iTunes Radio also has hundreds of its own curated stations, grouped by artists and genre. Like Pandora and others, you can modify stations by telling the app which songs you like and dislike, and you can access old stations by clicking your history button. It’s starting in the US this fall and coming to other countries in the future. You can use it on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as on your desktop.
From an Apple release:
Apple® today announced iTunes Radio™, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes® can deliver. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, Mac®, PC or Apple TV®, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you. iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. The more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalized your experience becomes. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists, Siri® integration, plus the ability to tag or buy anything you hear with just one click.
“It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.”
“iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalized radio stations which have been created just for you,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.”
iTunes Radio offers music fans access to thousands of new songs every week, as well as serving up exclusive music from new and popular artists before you hear them anywhere else. Whether it’s an exclusive single from an up-and-coming band or a pre-release stream of an entire album, iTunes Radio has it all. iTunes Radio will also be home to special events including live streams direct from the iTunes Festival in London and other exclusive iTunes Sessions.
Coming this fall, iTunes Radio will offer you an incredibly personalized experience on day one based on your listening history and past purchases from iTunes. In addition, if you’re listening to a song you like from iTunes Radio or your music library you will be able to have a station built around those. It’s easy to create and customize stations based on whatever you want to hear. Search for artists, songs, or genres, and iTunes Radio will instantly build a station around your choice.
Let Siri make your listening experience even more fun. Ask Siri “Who plays that song?” or “Play more like this” and Siri will make it happen. Say something like “Play Jazz Radio” or ask for any of your existing favorite stations and genres. Shape your stations by telling Siri what you like and don’t like, or tell Siri to pause, stop or skip. You can also have Siri add songs to your Wish List to download later.
iTunes Radio is ad-supported and free for everyone. iTunes Match℠ users get iTunes Radio ad-free, so instead of hearing the occasional ad on iTunes Radio, iTunes Match makes your listening completely ad-free. With iTunes Match, all your music—even songs you’ve imported from CDs—are stored in iCloud®. So iTunes Radio can use information about your entire music collection to make your stations even more personalized. iTunes Match costs $24.99 for a year.