Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been very busy in the opening hours of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco Monday. After all, this is Apple’s own conference that is designed for developers to work with its platform and ecosystem, and Apple takes great pains every year to have a full unveil of services, hardware and software for the developers to preview and work with the rest rest of the week.
The opening session on Monday was the keynote address and various Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) executives introduced the various new services and platforms for the developers, walking everyone through how these work and what we can all expect in terms of features and release dates. Among the plethora of items this year – with the highlight being the iOS 7 mobile platform that will roll out later this year on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices – was the expectedannouncement of a new music-streaming service called iTunes Radio.
The service had been rumored for months, but up until about two weeks ago, there was some doubt whether Apple would announce it because it hadn’t reached deals with two of the three major music companies. That all came through in a flurry of activity, with the last deal being reached With Sony Music late last week.
So now that we have iTunes Radio, what could we expect from this from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) that might set it apart from other services like Spotify, Rhapsody and that offered by Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE:P)?
The new iTunes Radio service will be a free, ad-supported service for everyone, but those with an iTunes Match music-storage service subscription can get a commercial-free iTunes Radio subscription for $25 per year. This new service by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reportedly will offer personalized playlists based on what users buy on iTunes and what they have listened to before – based on artist, genre or some other factor.
Users can create their own stations based on their preferences of artists, genres or specific songs, and the service will offer to play other songs related to what is chosen. There will also be a “featured stations” feature, which would play those songs or artists that are “trending” the most on Twitter or some other social network, for example.
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