Australia hardly needs another music streaming platform considering the number of services we already have available, but early this morning Apple announced it would be bringing its lean-back streaming service, iTunes Radio, to Australia starting from today.
For those out of the loop, iTunes Radio is a passive streaming service rather than an on-demand platform like Spotify or Rdio. It’s more like Pandora: taking a particular artist of your choosing and creating a playlist of songs around it for you to listen to.
There are also curated playlists organised by genre or put together by popular artists for you to listen to as well. Apple curates this stuff country-by-country, which means right now there’s a big INXS push on the front page of the Store owing to the fact that the weekend’s mini-series event pushed all of the band’s old albums into the top 10 spots on iTunes.
Aussies will also get access to “First Play”, which is where an artist will release their album exclusively to iTunes first, making it available as a free playlist to Radio customers. We’ve already seen this with Daft Punk and Justin Timberlake in recent memory.
iTunes Radio is free to use for all iTunes customers, but you will be served ads if you’re not an iTunes Match subscriber. You get six song skips per hour on either the free or paid tiers.
It had been hinted that Apple would bring the service to Australia in early-2014, and now we have it!
We have reason to feel fairly special with this announcement: Australia isn’t part of some long list of other countries getting the service today: we’re the only other country to be getting it.
Will you be using it?