iTunes Radio: Apple Shouldn’t Pop the Champagne Just Yet

As iPhone users start to install the iOS7 update, they’re greeted with a new icon: iTunes Radio. In the five days since the launch, iTunes Radio has hit 11 million unique visitors, causing Pandora’s stock to drop and other music streaming companies to take note.

Let’s put these numbers into perspective.

As of yesterday morning, 200 million devices have updated to iOS7 – according to MacWorld. This means that about 5.5 percent of users opened and used iTunes Radio.

radio2When iOS users finish the update, they inevitably want to click around and see what all the fuss is about, leading users to click on iTunes Radio and play with it a little.

More and more iOS devices will be updated this week, which means the unique monthly users of iTunes Radio will also increase. (Remember, there’s a segment of the population who wanted to wait a week or so for Apple to iron out all of the bugs.) As users keep updating their systems, more will be inclined to test out iTunes Radio. This will inevitably inflate the numbers further and give Apple more bragging rights.

Currently, iTunes Radio is the new hire in your office. It’s his first week and he’s trying to impress you. He’ll show up early seem like a strong performer now, but wait until he gets settled in. Will you be just as excited about your investment? Only time will tell.

Speaking of under-performing hires, let’s check in with Twitter #Music.

twitter1The service launched in April with much fanfare and then took a nose dive. Two weeks after the app was launched it fell below the top 100 free apps, down to #127 in the app store. ViralRead explained that the problem with Twitter #Music is that it’s based off of the music selection of people you follow. You rarely follow people on Twitter just because they have good taste in music.

In actuality, it’s not fair to predict that iTunes Radio will follow a similar trajectory as Twitter #Music. The two are apples and oranges – pun intended.

Twitter is where people go to share 140 character tidbits, talk to people with similar interests, and follow breaking news trends. Launching a product like #Music was asking users to change their behavior and perceived intended use of the microblogging site.

Meanwhile, users already go to iTunes to listen to music. The already have the mental association connecting the two ideas. This is why iTunes Radio might have a fighting chance in the music streaming industry.

Users are fiercely loyal to their music app of choice. Whether they have all of their Pandora stations perfectly organized or their Spotify songs ready to go, music is what gets people through the day. Before we jump to any conclusions about iTunes Radio taking the market share or fizzling out into oblivion, let’s work with it for a few months and make our decision at its 90-day review.

About the author

Amanda Dodge