updated 11:17 am EDT, Thu October 10, 2013
Beats predictions from sources
iTunes Radio is already rolling out in Canada and the UK, according to anecdotal reports. Until this week, the service was only accessible in the US. The timing beats out predictions by Bloomberg sources, who suggested that Canada and the UK would only get Radio in early 2014. There is no word yet of Australia, New Zealand, or various Nordic countries getting access; the Bloomberg sources suggested those regions would be joining Canada and the UK in roughly the same timeframe.
The main obstacle to iTunes Radio expansion is music rights. While talks with US labels and publishers can set the stage for a global streaming service, agreements still need to be worked out with regional partners, including the branches of major labels like Sony and Universal. Deals also need to be signed with regional advertisers, since services like iTunes Radio and Spotify are primarily ad-supported.