Apple’s new Internet radio service has the advantage of being a built-in part of iOS and OSX, meaning that hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Mac owners (as well as PC iTunes users) have access to it without having to install anything. It’s also integrated with Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.
With iTunes’ massive music catalog, Apple also has another advantage over many competitors. It’s also going directly after Pandora with its own song suggestion algorithm leverages the massive user data such as song ratings and Genius recommendations collected by iTunes.
The ad-based iTunes radio is free, and Apple offers a $24.99/year premium subscription version that eliminates those pesky ads. The company says 20 millions iTunes radio users listened to 1 billion hours of music in its first month of service.