While the yearly developer conference hosted by Apple looms, a note on one of the perhaps several new services Apple aims to unveil has appeared: iAds in iRadio. Apple's work with music has been growing since they first introduced iTunes in 2001 - here 12 years later, it may be time to integrate a free radio service along with the music file purchase and streaming services Apple offers already. Who would have thought it would be the advertisements that may run inside it that would unveil such a service early?
While iTunes users are able - and have been able to for some time - run internet radio through their normal app interface, this upgrade to an "iRadio" as we're calling it at the moment would be something Apple could offer that's a bit unique. It does seem odd that a radio service would be brought up at a time like this when user-selected tracks are more popular than ever.
This service would, according to Ad Age, be bringing audio ads to Apple's mobile ad network that would run through iRadio. This system - and we stress again that this "iRadio" may not be its final name - would pay about 10% of ad revenue to music rights holders. This is compared to Pandora who is said to pay out at around 4% ad revenue to music rights holders.
This iRadio service will apparently work to connect the iTunes MP3 purchasing system with iTunes Match, allowing users to purchase songs they hear in the system for their own cloud collection.
With Apple's iRadio service, they'll be going in direct competition with Pandora, that group having connections to music sales as well but not nearly as direct as Apple.
Meanwhile Google has assured the public that they'll be bringing Google Play Music Unlimited to iOS, this providing yet another radio-like service for the platform. It will be interesting to see how closely Google Play Music Unlimited is to Apple's final product, if it does indeed exist.
If iRadio does exist, it'll likely appear at WWDC 2013 where SlashGear will be in attendance. Stay tuned and get in the know right off the bat.