8/26/13: iTunes Radio's goal is to keep users in Apple environment, suggests analyst

Paul Maloney
August 26, 2013 - 11:05am

Given the high cost of operation and mounting losses of industry leader Pandora, analysts have suggested that Apple's intention with iTunes Radio isn't about profit -- (it may not even be about Internet radio at all).

"It’s about keeping its users from other Internet radio products," wrote Minyanville.com's Diane Bullock. "If Apple can provide this in-demand service to its iOS faithful, they won’t be tempted to stray and find themselves in the open and exciting arms of threateningly hip startups. Being all things digital means the cult of Mac won’t have to worry about defectors bolting for the door."

Consider: most potential listeners already have an iTunes account. The new service will be preinstalled on iPhones and iPads with iOS 7, iTunes for OS X and Windows, and Apple TV. And if a listener is signed in and ready-to-go, why launch another app to listen to Net radio? 

You may remember that the iTunes store itself had "break even" as a goal in 2003, and was launched to help sell iPods. After just five years, the store became the the leading U.S. music vendor. It now accounts for 64% of the world's online music sales, generating 15% profit on sales of $13.5 billion.

For the Internet radio product, Apple may have already laid the groundwork for some nice revenue. With blue-chip advertisers lined up before the service even launches, some paying tens of millions for year-long ad campaigns (see RAIN here), Apple may indeed end up exceeding expectations. They've done it before.

Read the Minyanville piece here.

Paul Maloney
August 26, 2013 - 11:05am

Radio pundit Glenn Beck is likely looking to launch local market web portals to maintain visibility in markets he recently lost on-air affiliates.

Beck has registered TheBlaze___.com domains for the cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He's also purchased domains for Dallas (his home market, where he's still on the air), and Toledo (another strong market for his on-air show), reports Radio Insight.

Beck has "taken his TheBlaze.com from a news/commentary site into radio streaming, traditional publishing, video, and most recently converting it into a full cable television network," writes the news source.

Our prior coverage of Beck's on-air, online The Blaze network is here.