Apple might be planning two music revamps for its Worldwide Developer Conference, according to new reports claiming iTunes Radio will see a major change this summer.
It follows Apple poaching BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe earlier this year. Lowe is apparently a key part of the iTunes Radio revamp, working directly with the developers on the project to make sure iTunes Radio is a success.
The original goal of iTunes Radio was to offer an ad-supported radio model, like Pandora, with the end goal of selling more iTunes records. It failed, due to the lack of prominent radio stations and the overuse of adverts.
The new iTunes Radio might be all about new talent, discoverability, 24/7 radio stations from DJs like Zane Lowe and a freemium model. It will allow users not ready for the full experience to enjoy the radio version, a different twist of other music streaming service’s freemium model.
Having the radio version as the ad supported model might make music labels happy, considering almost all radio stations are ad supported. Limiting the user controls will push more customers to subscribe to the full service, which will reportedly cost £7.99 per month or £14.99 with the family bundle.
Apple wants to offer three months free trial for iOS users, but music labels want only one month free. Considering most have credit cards already stored on the iOS device, Apple most likely sees the long term value of making people forget they have a subscription to the service.
The two services will most likely merge into one - it might not be that big of a surprise to see everything merged into the iTunes app. That way, users can listen to radio stations, stream their own playlists and buy their music all in one place.