Here is an Apple rumor that will not die and, every time it resurfaces, markets tremble. Don’t turn away — this isn’t yet another bit about the Apple TV. Sooner or later, probably sometime this year, an Apple Pandora-esque streaming service will launch and the disruption could be huge.
This time around the source is BTIG Research, which predicts an Apple Pandora-like service, some call “iRadio,” sometime in 2013.
Consumer behavior (is) increasingly shifting toward access to a music catalog from ownership of specific songs. We expect iRadio to be incorporated into the iTunes iOS app with personalized radio functionality akin to Pandora, integrated with iTunes to purchase music and other music related content… — BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield
Of course, iRadio will integrate with Apple’s dominate iTunes Music Store and market leading PassBook ticketing service — it could prove to be a master stroke just as music streaming services, Pandora and Spotify, start to gain traction.
That said, although markets send Pandora shares lower every time rumors of Apple’s iRadio bubble to the surface, informed observers agree that Spotify would likely suffer the most.
Can we really expect iRadio this year? Like the Apple TV, everything depends on whether or not Apple can wrangle content deals with the big media companies. Following the success of iTunes, the Hollywood studios and record labels have shown an extreme reluctance to be pulled closer into orbit around Cupertino.
Are you ready for iRadio?