Rumors of Apple launching iRadio
Apple is about to make Pandora's life a lot more difficult. According to The Verge, Apple is very close to reaching streaming licensing agreements with Universal Music Group and Warner Music in an effort to launch iRadio, a streaming radio service similar to Pandora. For those unfamiliar with Pandora, it is a music recommendation service that allows you to pick a song you like and returns a bunch of similar songs in the form of a playlist that you can listen to for free - if you're willing to listen to an ad every few songs or so.
iRadio makes a lot sense for Apple. They have millions of people using their hardware, strong relations with music companies through iTunes, and according to The Daily Beast, $137 billion dollars in cash. But what do students think about the possibility of iRadio?
"Pandora's got too much of a market share. I don't think users will be willing to switch over from a familiar service to basically the same thing offered by Apple," said sophomore aerospace engineering major Chris Bohlman.
Chris has a good point. It does not seem like iRadio is offering anything different from the services Pandora already provides. Senior computer science major Andrew Lally had a different take on the future of iRadio, however.
"If they delete the competitors off their stores like they usually do, people will be too lazy to take it back, and Apple will 'gypsy' it's way into the market."
Apple has a history of blocking out their competitors on their app store. For a while, Apple's app store did not offer any non-Safari web browsers. In another instance, Apple blocked a game in which you operate a sweatshop - Apple has been under fire for their questionable sources of labor overseas recently.
These practices have somewhat tarnished Apple's image, however, as users grew weary of Apple's abuse of market power to beat out their competitors. All things considered, it will be interesting to see how Apple handles the release of iRadio, and how competitive the service will be compared to the likes of Pandora.
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