Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Report: Apple To Launch Song-ID Feature for iPhone Software

Pandora is still the dominant in online streaming radio, with a 31 percent share of all listeners, according to Edison Research’s 2014 Infinite Dial survey, with Apple’s iTunes Radio far behind, at 8 percent. However, according to The Wall Street Cheat Sheet, there are indications that the audience gap might narrow, as Apple is rumored to soon introduce a feature Pandora doesn’t offer.

As reported by Bloomberg, sources close to the project say Apple will unveil a song discovery feature during a preview of its mobile software update, iOS 8, at the company’s annual developer conference in June. Partnering with music identification service Shazam, the app will be able to capture a song via the iPhone or iPad’s microphone using its voice-activated search feature, Siri, and match it in Apple’s iTunes database, which the company has expanded even as song download rates have gone down.

Apple and Pandora have been stepping on each other’s toes for years, but the competition appeared to shift into higher gear last September, when the iPhone maker launched a music streaming service with iTunes Radio last September.

In a recently filed court ruling that settled a royalty rate dispute between Pandora and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) the presiding judge echoed the sentiment of some in the market, saying that “Pandora has continued to grow despite the presence of iTunes Radio.”  Whether or not Pandora will be able to continue to grow at the fast pace it managed through February of this year is less clear.

The possible introduction of an official iTunes app for the Android mobile OS could increase the radio service’s footprint enormously.

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