Apple is hoping to move you from a music collector to a file-streamer.
Imagine clicking iTunes’ “Buy” button to purchase the latest record from Drake or Pharrell Williams, only to get a popup from Apple suggesting you’re behind the times.
That’s what might happen as Apple uses its massive consumer base to push streaming music on the masses, even going so far as prompting iTunes users to switch from buying songs to subscribing to a cloud service.
That sort of mid-purchase upsell is just one possible element of Cupertino’s strategy to shake up the music industry again, and the Apple streaming music plan just might be crazy enough to work.
Apple is beefing up its iAd network for iTunes Radio by making it easy for advertisers to target certain customers. Like iAds for apps, advertisers can also buy their own audio ads without having to go through Apple’s sales team.
The change seems geared towards making advertising on iTunes Radio a more attractive opportunity, especially now that brands can use Customer Match, Apple’s ad-targeting system.
Looking for your Almost Famous moment? Try joining Apple as a music journalist. Photo: DreamWorks
iTunes might currently be flagging compared to rivals like Spotify, but it seems that Apple has some big ideas to bolster its music services — and unlike many companies in Silicon Valley, they’re not going to be based solely on better algorithms.
In a new job posting, Apple makes clear that it wants to lead the way when it comes to specialized employees who know their music. In particular, the company is seeking an editorial producer, based in London, with a background in both music journalism and pop culture.
Brush up on your Christmas carols ahead of the holidays, thanks to iTunes Radio. Photo: Mike Renland/Flickr
Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Apple is getting into the holiday spirit by activating a number of its festive-themed curated iTunes Radio stations — ranging from collections of country Christmas songs, to stations featuring the kind of Christmas standards we all know and love.
The ten stations include Children’s Christmas Holiday Sing-Along, Country Holiday, Classical Holiday, Holiday Classics, Holiday Hits, Latin Holiday, Rockin’ Holiday, Soulful Holiday, Swingin’ Holiday and The Sounds of Christmas.
Apple delivers U2’s Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes users, but not everybody’s buying the hype. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Thousands of angry iPhone users have found an album they weren’t looking for: U2’s Songs of Innocence.
Instead of making the band’s mediocre new album an opt-in freebie, Apple jammed it down the throats of a half-billion iTunes Store customers, enraging some of the company’s most loyal fans. Whether they wanted the album or not, it’s now showing up as “purchased” in individuals’ iTunes libraries on their computers and phones.
When Tim Cook trotted out the Irish rockers for a limp finale to Tuesday’s big Apple Watch announcement, he called giving away the band’s new record “the largest album release of all time” — but now it looks like one of the dumbest.
iTunes Radio quickly became known as an underdog after its release last fall, with Apple facing an uphill battle against established services like Spotify and Pandora. In today’s video, we take an in-depth look at iTunes Radio, its features, its future — and why it deserves your attention.
Video might have killed the radio star, but streaming hasn’t killed the record store. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Stroll into your local record store and you won’t find the dusty-floored wasteland of empty bins you might imagine. Chances are you’ll see something that’s more vibrant, relevant and vital than before.
Like the nerdy know-it-alls at specialty wine stores and comic book shops, today’s typical employee at an indie record store is still a tastemaking wizard — just turned up to 11. Staff picks bear the unerring zeal of the true believer, and staffers are more focused on uncovering stuff that you’ll never find on a Walmart CD shelf.
“Since there’s been a turn to Spotify, Bandcamp and iTunes, we sell way more vinyl,” said Jim Haynes, assistant manager at San Francisco’s Aquarius Records. “We’re at about 75 percent vinyl to 20 percent CD and a smattering of cassettes. People are turning to an even more seemingly obsolete medium.”
Predictions of the end of physical media are as played-out as those reports about the death of rock ‘n’ roll, with everyone and their mother proclaiming that Spotify and other streaming services have killed the local record store. That fear-mongering sounds smart and might even contain a kernel of truth, but the reality is much different.
When iTunes Radio launched last spring, music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify took cover from the impending Apple invasion, but radio streaming apps like TuneIn Radio might be in Apple’s sights now as well.
Starting today iTunes Radio will feature National Public Radio as its first news channel for the audio streaming service. NPR’s channel will feature a 24-hour live stream with news, along with pre-recorded shows, but it won’t be the only news channel in the iTune Radio lineup.