It didn’t surprise too many people when in an interview last month Apple executive Eddy Cue said he wanted to see the company’s new iTunes Radio service rolled out to more countries as soon as possible. Of course Apple wants to see its streaming radio offering available to one and all at the earliest opportunity, but these things take time. Currently, only those in the US can access the service, which lets users build music ‘stations’ based on artists, genres, or songs.
Fast forward to Monday and it looks like things are starting to happen, with a Bloomberg report claiming the music service will launch in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand “by early 2014.”
Citing “people with knowledge of the situation” as its source, the report added that Nordic countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden “are also being targeted in the same time frame”.
If Bloomberg’s contacts prove reliable, the arrival of iTunes Radio in the UK and Canada will come as a blow to the current top player in the streaming radio space, Pandora, which is yet to launch in the two countries. In the UK, iTunes Radio would go up against the likes of Spotify and Rdio, though of these two only Rdio currently operates in Canada.
The Cupertino company is reportedly able to roll out its service more quickly as it has inked deals for international rights with Universal Music Group as well as other record companies, while rival service Pandora “relies on rights granted by government entities.” Pandora currently operates in only three countries – the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Apple launched iTunes Radio with the release of iOS 7 on September 18, with more than 11 million people trying the service in the first five days, according to the tech company.
“One of our top priorities is to bring iTunes Radio obviously here in the UK but everywhere in the world,” Cue told the Associated Press in an interview in London at the end of last month. “We certainly want to be in more than 100 countries.” Going by Bloomberg’s report, the roll out is soon to begin.