BTIG: Forget About the iTV, iRadio Is Up Next

Apple predicted to launch a radio service akin to Pandora

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield says Apple will not release its elusive television set this year. Instead, the Cupertino giant will make an emphasis on audio content - a radio service similar to Pandora routed through iTunes.

Greenfield and his fellow analysts at BTIG believe that, “Despite Tim Cook’s repeated statements that the television is an area of ‘intense interest’ for Apple […] the mythical Apple Television is not released in 2013.”

Instead, Apple will roll out a service called iRadio, as consumer behavior is “increasingly shifting toward access to a music catalog from ownership of specific songs,” the analyst writes.

BTIG expects Apple’s iRadio to be incorporated in iTunes (no surprise there) as an iOS app “with personalized radio functionality akin to Pandora.”

Users would buy music as they normally do, as well as “music related content,” including concert tickets and related merchandise.

Finally, BTIG predicts that Apple is already talking to the big labels to offer “a far more robust service than current digital radio services that rely on compulsory licenses,” Greenfield writes.

The full scoop is available at the BTIG Research blog (subscription required).

This is not the first time Apple has been predicted to introduce a radio service and, in fact, the Cupertino giant has reportedly been hard at work on the service.

People with alleged knowledge of the company’s plans told the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times in September 2012 that Apple was in talks to license music for a Pandora-like service.

According to the two independent reports, the service would be operable not only on Apple gear, but also on Windows computers. The sources also specifically said that Android users would be blocked from the service, because of competitive reasons.

The New York Times independently claimed that Apple’s radio service would not be ready in 2012.

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