Apple plans to expand its currently U.S.-only iTunes Radio to at least four other countries early next year. According to Bloomberg, the company is preparing to launch its music streaming service in Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.
In its report, Bloomberg makes a point of comparing iTunes Radio’s international rollout with that of industry leader Pandora:
Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to expand iTunes Radio to English-speaking countries outside the U.S. by early 2014, beating industry leader Pandora Media Inc. (P) to the U.K. and Canada, people with knowledge of the situation said. 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.
A couple of weeks ago, Apple Internet Software and Services SVP Eddy Cue said in an interview with the Associated Press that Apple wants iTunes Radio to be “in more than 100 countries.” Cue specifically mentioned the U.K., which hosts the annual iTunes Festival, as one of those countries.
Then, last week, a recently posted job listing, which was first noted by 9to5Mac, hinted at the imminent launch of iTunes Radio in Canada. Through the listing, Apple seeks to fill the position of “iTunes Canada Music Programmer.”
Apple has indeed been hiring music programmers to apply a human touch to the featured stations in iTunes Radio, as opposed to the largely algorithm-based selections of Pandora.