iTunes Radio already accounts for a considerable amount of streaming music since its debut in September, but Apple is looking to grow its user base even further. And in order to do this, the company might turn iTunes Radio into its very own standalone app in iOS 8, reports 9to5Mac.
Right now iTunes Radio exists as a tab within the iOS Music app. It’s easy to find, but it’s also easy to miss. Breaking it out into its own separate app would undoubtedly call attention to the service. And it would have the advantage of coming preloaded on every iOS device sold, unlike other popular streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, which must be downloaded from the App Store.
According to 9to5Mac, the interface for the standalone app is virtually identical to the way it exists within the Music app now, and functionality won’t change much either. So if the change is as simple as creating a dedicated app icon, I don’t see why Apple wouldn’t do it. It would be almost guaranteed to increase usage of the service, which has already proved quite popular since its launch in September. According to a recent study, iTunes Radio is the third most popular music streaming service in the U.S., accounting for 8 percent of the users that listened to streaming music in the past month. That’s way less than Pandora, which is in the lead with 31 percent, but it’s still more than Spotify, which has 6 percent in the survey.
In addition to a standalone app, Apple is said to be looking to expand the reach of iTunes Radio further throughout the world (it’s only available in the U.S. and Australia right now). As Apple faces new competition from Samsung in the form of its mobile streaming service Milk, a standalone app and wider footprint could give it the edge it needs to continue gaining marketshare.