Feeds

Online music world on iRadio: Apple, imagine our concern

*Sarcastic face*

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Leading figures in the online music industry have cast doubt on Apple's claims that its new streaming iRadio service will revolutionise the way fanbois listen to songs.

The fruity firm announced iRadio at the WWDC yesterday, telling the gathered hordes that it would allow them to listen to personalised radio stations and then buy the songs they are listening to. The service will be subsidised through advertising, although subscribers to iTunes Match will be able to listen ad-free.

It's the sort of announcement that you would expect to strike fear into the hearts of other online music providers, but the boss of TuneIn radio - which sells an app allowing users to tune in live to nearly all of the world's radio stations - said he wasn't concerned about Apple's latest effort stealing his audience.

"I would say that we're quite different to iRadio," CEO John Donham told The Register. "I would say that services like Pandora or iRadio are just like putting CDs on shuffle, whereas we allow people to listen live to broadcasters from around the world. So we're not worried.

"However, when it comes to streaming services, which allow listeners to put their favourite songs on shuffle, there's going to be a bloodbath as several competitors move into the same space. It's going to be exciting watching them compete."

He also described the iRadio tag as "misleading", because it lacked the live, real time experience of radio, which relies on DJs to choose the music rather than algorithms.

TuneIn is now branching out into the automobile market, working with BMW, Mercedes, Ford, General Motors and Tesla to find a way to fit its services into car radio. Donham claimed to have signed up almost 98 percent of the world's radio stations, which can claim advertising revenue through TuneIn.

Oleg Fomenko, founder of Bloom.fm, which describes itself as "the world's first £1 a month music subscription service", said that iRadio was not the cure for a music industry in decline.

He said: "Streaming radio is not a new concept and, as expected, it’s an ad-funded model. Apple’s vast user-base will undoubtedly guarantee healthy traffic and as such the service will be an attractive proposition for advertisers, but will this create significant and sustainable revenue for rights holders and artists? We’ve heard talk of the major labels securing attractive deals and healthy revenue shares from Apple, but the stand-alone viability of an ad-funded model still remains to be proven.

"Everyone agrees that the £1 per download model is in-decline and that £10 per month streaming subscriptions have failed to gain mass-market traction. Streaming radio, expensive on demand subscriptions and paid for downloads do not reflect how people consume music today. They want total control over what they listen to at an affordable price. The combination of restricted streaming radios and paid for downloads doesn’t satisfy this need, neither does the standard £10 per month on-demand services."

There is "nothing new for consumers" in Apple's iRadio, he continued.

"This is all about selling more downloads and more devices, which is perfectly fine but let’s not kid ourselves that it will change consumer habits or the fortunes of the industry," he added.

"The £1 per track download model has driven many to music piracy and a reliance on free on-demand sources of music like YouTube."

Predictably, Apple was ecstatically evangelical about its new service.

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior veep of internet software and services, said in a tinned statement: "iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalised radio stations which have been created just for you.

"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."

The iRadio service will be offered for free to Apple-using fanbois and will allow them to use Siri to tailor their recommended songs by telling it which tunes are great and which are rubbish, raising the spectre of earphone-equipped fanbois in the streets angrily shouting at their iThings for playing the wrong song. Fanbois can also ask Siri what's playing and then buy the track from iTunes.

It puts Apple on a collision course with Google Play, Pandora and Spotify, which all offer similar services. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?