iTunes Radio may be an example of Apple's embrace of "disruptive innovation"

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Issue Date: 
Sep 9 2013 - 11:45am

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Apple tomorrow will hold its press event at which (most expect) it will unveil its new iPhone models. Shortly thereafter, the new mobile operating system will go live, and with it, the long-awaited iTunes Radio Internet radio service (more in RAIN here).

ITunes Radio represents a shift in direction for Apple's music interests. Apple's most successful musical service, undoubtedly, has been its iTunes Music Store, with which it has become the world's largest music retailer. And while iTunes Radio doesn't mean Apple is abandoning download sales by any means, it likely shows that Apple understands the "disruption" in music consumption, as music moves from a "product" to a "service." Billboard's Glenn Peoples (online, and in further detail, in the magazine) describes Apple's move in terms of Clayton Christensen's influential book The Innovator's Dilemma.

[RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson has written and spoken about applying the book's ideas in Internet radio in the past, like here and here.]

Peoples wrote: "In order to succeed in the streaming marketplace, Apple has to risk killing the music download business it has dominated for the last ten years. With the launch of iTunes Radio, Apple shows it understands the future of music is streaming. iTunes Radio is not necessarily an iTunes-killer -- Internet radio is generally believed to complement music purchases -- but is a first step toward the kind of streaming service that could eventually replace the iTunes Music Store."

Read more online here.

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