In the month since its launch, iTunes Radio is ready to take on online music radio giant Pandora for more pieces of the pie. According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple will push to expand iTunes Radio to the UK and Canada by 2014 — places where, in its thirteen years of operation, Pandora has yet to enter the market.
In addition to those two markets, Bloomberg sources said the Cupertino company is looking to expand its radio offerings to Australia and New Zealand — which will directly challenge Pandora’s presence in those countries. There is also a possibility that a presence will be established in Nordic countries around the same time. Bloomberg said the key to this expansion plan is a valuable partnership Apple has forged with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and other record labels that secure international rights for music.
While iTunes Radio is certainly a threat to Pandora’s listener pool, the company has yet to see Apple’s fledgling feature make a dent in overall listeners. Pandora released its September statistics last week, which showed positive gains in both monthly active users and listening hours. However, since iTunes Radio launched on September 18, it’s likely that a more complete picture of its effects on Pandora’s 72.7 million listeners will surface in the coming months.
Apple’s gambit on iTunes Radio continues to be aggressive. In an AP story, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said the company wants to bring the streaming service to more than 100 countries — a greater penetration than European streaming company Spotify’s audience of just 35 countries. Of course, it’s likely that the overall success of the program will dictate when and how it will expand over time, but it seems that Apple will continue to be persistent in bringing its latest feature to new markets.