updated 11:18 am EDT, Wed October 2, 2013
Streaming previews can be major boost to sales
Apple will use iTunes Radio to promote and stream albums before their release, according to Eddy Cue, the company's senior VP for Internet Software and Services. For some time now Apple has been offering full-length preview streams of albums by mainstream acts, but only on the iTunes Store. "It's a huge improvement to do it on iTunes Radio because you don't go to a store a lot. Hopefully lots of people will be listening to iTunes Radio a lot; from a discovery perspective it's significantly better," says Cue.
Streaming previews can be great boosts to an album's success, potentially increasing pre-orders by a factor of two to five times. iTunes Radio went live for the general public just last month, via updates to iTunes, iOS, and the Apple TV. The service is integrated into those platforms, which could pose a challenge for popular but separate third-party streaming radio services like Pandora and Spotify. Those companies do, however, have the advantage of also appearing on non-Apple platforms like Android and Windows Phone.