iTunes Radio Hits 20 Million Listeners In Five Weeks
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
During today’s Apple event, Tim Cook announced the company’s new music streaming service iTunes Radio hit 20 million users in its first month of availability. All told, these 20 million users streamed some one billion songs in five weeks.
The music service was first announced in June during Apple’s WWDC but was only made available with iOS 7 on September 18th. This represents a significant growth in numbers since the first update Cook gave about listenership in September. When Apple announced selling nine million iPhones during opening day weekend starting September 20, some 11 million unique listeners had already tuned into iTunes Radio.
In the first month of availability, Apple has used some of their best sellers in the iTunes store to help push the service. Artists like Katy Perry sponsored Guest DJ stations while Justin Timberlake streamed his latest album, 20/20 Experience Part 2, through iTunes Radio. Stations centered on individual artists and bands were also popular, including the Beatles radio station which was displayed for the first few weeks.
iTunes Radio works on all iOS devices, including Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod and on desktops through iTunes 11.1. The music is ad-supported, though users who pay for iTunes Match (a $24.99 annual charge) can listen to the music without commercials.
When it was first announced, many saw iTunes Radio as a potential death knell for the largest online music streamer, Pandora. As iTunes Radio is a brand new service backed by a sexy brand, it’s likely many people have rushed to try the new service, creating the surge in numbers. However, it remains to be seen whether these listeners will stick around and if Apple’s streaming option will one day overtake Pandora. According to their latest numbers, Pandora was streaming music to 72.7 million listeners.
In the first five days of availability, iTunes Radio had already attracted more listeners than Rhapsody served in the entire month of July.
Tim Cook made this announcement at today’s press event during the routine updates that are given at the beginning. An hour and a half later, the Cupertino company unveiled new MacBook Pros, new Mac Pros, and a newly redesigned and renamed tablet, the iPad Air. Not to be left out, the iPad mini received an upgrade as well, getting the same internals as the iPhone 5S and a high definition Retina Display.
Apple also announced groundbreaking changes to their software and will be giving most of it away for free. Their new operating system Mavericks is now freely available in the Mac App Store while their latest versions of iWork for both iOS and Mac devices are free for those who buy a new iPad, iPhone or Mac.