Apple is taking a very human route to perfecting iTunes Radio, which will be officially unveiled with the introduction of iOS 7 tomorrow.
According to CNET, Apple is hiring a number of musical programmers who will select songs to promote from the thousands of new releases each month. And that’s not a huge surprise, considering the close relationship between labels and Apple in building the iTunes Store.
In contrast, current streaming music leader Pandora selects music largely from computer-generated algorithms and user feedback.
Pandora also seems to be on the defensive, according to the report. The 27 million songs in the iTunes Radio catalog dwarf its 1 million music tracks. And while Apple is only rolling out the service in the United States for now, it could easily be expanded globally to its huge existing customer base.
Other streaming radio services are also doing their best to combat Apple’s threat. Just yesterday, we reported that Rdio is teaming up with terrestrial radio giant Cumulus Media to launch a free, ad-supported music service by the end of the year.
While iTunes Radio will include ads, users can subscribe to Apple’s iTunes Match service for $24.99 per year for an ad-free experience and the ability to skip an unlimited amount of songs.
It looks like Apple’s entry into the streaming music realm is forcing competitors to think of new ways to attract customers, which is only good news for music lovers.