iTunes Radio is to be launched in the UK shortly. Is it to be considered as a serious threat to other existing successful platforms? Here’s a recap of the actual situation with an overview of the 5 biggest music streaming apps in the UK.
Streaming Services invasion
Nowadays, information is universally accessible and shareable to anyone, anywhere. It is ridiculously easy to find anything we’re looking for on the Internet. For most of us, it is hard to realize that 15 years ago, none of this was possible.
In order to make things even easier, a variety of different streaming platforms have been created. Thanks to advertising, most of them allow users to play any content freely but without owning it. Some paid versions are available for users who don’t want to see any ads. These streaming digital services tend to multiply drastically. They are actually a great response to pirate downloads.
Music industry is particularly concerned by this profusion of online services. Competition is fierce as there are plenty of different offers on the market.
iTunes Radio coming soon in Europe…
Recently, Apple Inc. decided to launch its own free Internet radio service: iTunes Radio. It allows users to play any song on the iTunes Music Store and enables them to create their own radio station. The service is available for Apple’s devices only (iTunes, iOS, and Apple TV). There is a paid version called iTunes Match ($24.99 per year) that removes ads between tracks. Users can also directly buy songs from the iTunes Store if they want.
iTunes Radio is only available in the US and Australia for the moment. Apple has however revealed its will to expand the service outside the US and especially to English-speaking countries.
United Kingdom seems to be one of the priorities. Paul Wright (iTunes Radio CEO) has apparently been visiting some UK media marketing agencies recently. Rumors claim that iTunes Radio was to be launched by early 2014 in the UK. Although we’ll soon be arriving in May, there’s still no sign of the service but we can expect its arrival in the next months.
How will iTunes Radio compete with other well-implanted services in the United Kingdom?
There are actually plenty of other streaming services, all offering variable features: prices, tracks, sound quality, accessibility, … the offer is wide!
These streaming platforms are more and more used through mobile devices. This can be explained by the increasing popularity of mobile vs desktop platforms. People need and want to be able to access their favorite songs anytime and anywhere, usually thanks to their smartphones. In response to that shift, most streaming services have their own app on the App Store.
Here’s an overview of the 5 biggest Music Streaming Apps in the UK:
Launch: 2008 – Sweden – Startup “Spotify AB”, Group Service, Universal Mobile Platforms: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 8, Symbian Number of tracks: +20 million Geographic Availability: 56 countries Price: Free (web only & limited) / Spotify Unlimited ($4,99 monthly) / Spotify Premium ($9,99 monthly) Users: 24 million active users Paid Subscribers: +6 million Spotify Daily ranking in the UK from 23/03/2014 to 21/04/2014: (note: all charts are powered by www.apptweak.com)
Music Category: between 2nd and 3rd Global: between 22 and 35
Launch: 2007 – France – Daniel Marhely, Jonathan Benassava Mobile Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Blackberry Number of tracks: +30 million Geographic Availability: 182 countries Price: Free (web only & limited) / Premium ($4,99 monthly) / Premium+ ($9,99 monthly) Users: 12 million monthly active users Paid Subscribers: +5 million Deezer Daily ranking in the UK for the same period:
Music Category: between 16 and 22 Global: between 189 and 330
Launch: 2010 – USA – Janus Friis Mobile Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry Number of tracks: +20 million Geographic Availability: 51 countries Price: Free (web only & limited) / Premium ($9,99 monthly) Users: unknown Paid Subscribers: unknown Rdio Daily ranking in the UK for the same period:
Music Category: between 26 and 42 Global: between 361 and +400
Launch: 2002 – UK – Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel, Michael Breidenbruecker, Thomas Willomitzer Mobile Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Sonos Systems, Xbox Number of tracks: +12 million Geographic Availability: 51 countries Price: Free for UK, US, Germany / €3 monthly for others Users: unknown Paid Subscribers: unknown Last.fm Daily ranking in the UK for the same period:**
Music Category: between 138 and 197 Global: +400
Launch: 2013 – UK Mobile Platforms: iOS, Android (no web access) Number of tracks: 22 million Geographic Availability: UK only Price: Free (limited) / Premium (£1 – £13,99 monthly) Users: unknown Paid Subscribers: unknown Bloom.fm Daily ranking in the UK for the same period:
Music Category: between 9 and 20 Global: between 110 and 241
Of course, there are many other music streaming services available in the UK, but these are considered to be the most popular ones. Spotify and Deezer are undoubtedly leading the race but national services like Bloom.fm are struggling hard to get some share of the market. __
With Apple probably joining the streaming music field in the UK very soon, the competition on the iOS market will get even fiercer. __
Apple’s plan to hit the UK shows that the company wants to expand its offer on other markets, probably aiming to attract Apple’s devices’ users. iTunes Radio will certainly seduce Genius adepts, as it is working the same way. It allows users to listen to personalized tracks depending on what they already listened to (suggestive tracks).__
iTunes Radio is also making things easier to share songs amongst various Apple devices: all stations are stored in iCloud. Moreover, it is also entirely working with Siri.
It will certainely be interesting to see how other services will react to this launch…
What about you ? What music streaming service are you using ? Do you think that iTunes Radio will take the lead once in the UK ? Write your opinion in the comment section below !
By Laurie Galazzo