With the release of iOS 7, Apple introduced its first attempt at internet streaming radio with the aptly titled iTunes Radio. Now comes word via Bloomberg that the feature will soon be heading to a number of English-speaking countries, beginning with the UK and Canada before making its way to Australia and New Zealand.
ITunes Radio is also set to start early next year in Australia and New Zealand, where Pandora already operates, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public. Nordic countries are also being targeted in the same time frame, the people said.
Apple is moving faster than Pandora because it forged agreements for international rights with Vivendi SA (VIV)'s Universal Music Group and other record companies, said one of the people. Pandora, which doesn't have such deals, relies on rights granted by government entities, limiting service to the US, Australia and New Zealand.
The report relays that Apple is hoping to expand iTunes Radio beyond the United States by early 2014.
While it makes sense for Apple to start small with English-speaking countries, Apple executive Eddy Cue recently said that Apple wants iTunes Radio to be a global entity.
"One of our top priorities is to bring iTunes Radio obviously here in the UK, but everywhere in the world," Cue explained in an interview last week. "We certainly want to be in more than 100 countries."
Cue noted that Apple is thus far "very pleased" with the rollout of iTunes Radio. Remember that Apple noted in a press release two weeks ago that over 11 million unique users had already given iTunes Radio a spin in the first few days the feature became available.
As a final note, keep in mind that Bloomberg's sources are anonymous and any rumors involving Apple should always be taken with a grain of salt, especially when they involve the often murky world of music licensing.
Execute the music programming of the iTunes Store in Canada, merchandising new releases and other feature content across multiple genres; Update featuring daily, identifying new and priority releases, as well as highlighting library content and showcase depth of catalogue; Work with management in Canada and Cupertino to determine local and global priorities relevant to iTunes. Manage the weekly scheduling and programming process. Collaborate with other editorial programmers on cross content initiatives and promotions. Communicate regularly with the Marketing and Sales team in Canada to coordinate new releases and priorities.