Music Industry

iTunes Radio Is Really About Buying Music, Not Streaming It

After an unpleasantly long stretch on the rumor mill--even by Apple standards--complicated by a hard-bargaining Sony Music, iTunes Radio finally exists. For the most part, the rumor mill got it right: It's a lot like Pandora, it has text and audio ads (which feel strange on an Apple product), and it's integrated with iTunes, Apple's streaming-beset music behemoth.

If they'd just ended up calling it "iRadio," which is destined to be the iTouch of garbled service names, the rumor sites would be justified in declaring themselves victorious over Apple's vaunted secret-keeping.

But the most surprising thing about iTunes Radio is something we should have guessed at all along: It's not a competitor of Pandora or Spotify so much as a backdoor attempt at keeping the iTunes Music Store relevant.

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Dan Moore