Apple Looking To Create Pandora-Like Radio Service, Would Be Free With iAds [Report]


Steve Jobs unveiled Genius to the world back in September of 2008.
Steve Jobs unveiled Genius to the world back in September of 2008.

Apple has been working on beefing up its iTunes experience for quite some time, and now it looks like the Cupertino company is looking to create a Pandora-like internet radio service. Users would be able to create stations for favorite artists or songs, and Apple would presumably use its Genius algorithm to stream related music. The service would be free and available on all Apple devices, but iAds would be interspersed throughout as a means of monetization.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Apple Inc. is in talks to license music for a custom-radio service similar to the popular one operated by Pandora Media Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be a bid by the hardware maker to expand its dominance in online music.

Apple’s service would work on its sprawling hardware family, including the iPhone, iPads and Mac computers, and possibly on PCs running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, according to one of these people. It would not work on smartphones and tablets running Google Inc.’s Android operating system, this person added, highlighting the mounting battle for mobile dominance between the two technology giants.

The report notes that Apple only recently began talking with record labels about licensing, and it’s a “matter of months” before the service would launch.

Reaffirming earlier reports, The Journal says that Apple has worked on a Spotify-like music streaming service in the past. Whether such a service ever comes to fruition or not, Apple is at least trying to make this Pandora-style radio service as awesome as possible.

The licenses Apple is seeking may let it sidestep certain restrictions that typically apply to online radio, including a ban on playing any given song too frequently. Such a difference could make Apple’s service more of a direct competitor to terrestrial radio, which typically repeats a small number of hit songs.

It doesn’t look like we’ll see this product at the iPhone 5 event next week, but expect some big things from iTunes in the months ahead.

Update: The New York Times also says that Apple has a Pandora-killer in the works, also noting that we probably won’t see the new service next week.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Image: Engadget

  • Richard Peyton Smith

    makes sense might genius was a great addition it felt weird that it kinda got put on the back burn

  • donnpattenden

    I’ve switched to Spotify. The desktop iTunes app is a clunky old beast IMHO.

  • technochick

    hmmm are they looking to make Pandora. or is this just about licensing connected to iTunes Match streaming.

    Or is the end result of Apple buying Perhaps they now have the tech for lala’s old tricks melded into the itunes system and are finishing up the licensing deals.

    if so, it was nice. One time full play of any song. A history list of what you listened to. The ability to follow other users (like in Ping) and listen to their playlists (well the songs on them you hadn’t already used your one time on, otherwise those were just a 30-60 second sample). Ability to make a random playlist of an artist or even a collection of similar artists/folks that like also listen to (very Genius like).

    I think they should add that kind of stuff into the system and expand the whole follow artists to everyone that is selling on itunes (it’s the smaller folks that need the push more than the labeled artists). redub it LaLa which makes more sense as a name than Ping ever did. They could even expand the whole iCloud thing and that home page you can make with iphoto journals could be used to show your LaLa lists, iTunes reviews, perhaps even widgets for your twitter and facebook feeds now that they are integrating. even perhaps shared photo streams etc. A kind of bringing back of the old HomePage service to a degree.

  • cwoodsmusic

    i got some hot songs

  • cwoodsmusic where i got the best songs ever you will love it