“While Pandora has claimed that they’re not worried about Apple’s new venture… they should be,” Cameron Graham writes for technology Advice. “Pandora’s user base is only a little over a third of iTunes’ 575 million users. And since iTunes Radio will be built into iTunes, the service will be in the hands of practically every one of those users come September 18th.”

“Pandora is free to use, as long as you don’t mind the occasional ad. As of last month, they also lifted the 40-hour listening cap on their free service. If you do want to remove ads, however, a year of Pandora One will cost you $36,” Graham writes. “A year of ad-less iTunes Radio will be only $24.99… and will include a year of iTunes Match service which backs-up a user’s iTunes library to the cloud and allows streaming access (even for songs you didn’t purchase from iTunes). The lower price and streaming cloud service will be hard for Pandora to respond to.”

“Pandora’s catalog features around a 1 million songs,” Graham writes. “iTunes Radio however, has direct deals with all three major record labels and appears to be leveraging exclusive iTunes store content for radio use as well… Exclusive album releases and studio sessions will make their way onto the [iTunes Radio] service before they come out in stores. That’s a big win for a service whose point is to help users discover new music.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Opening the music app on an iOS 7 device, I was greeted by iTunes Radio asking if I was ready to try it out. As someone who listens to a lot of music and primarily uses streaming music services, radio has lost its appeal, but my initial intrigue gave way to some overwhelmingly positive first impressions,” Tyler Hayes writes for Fast Company. “Pushing buttons and navigating through the radio section of the former “iPod” app, everything isn’t just smooth and responsive, it’s also pleasant to use.”

“Everything about Radio is intuitive from the layout of featured stations to digging into a current song and seeing what other music the band has to offer.,” Hayes writes. “The design and goal is clearly focused on listeners purchasing music–but even so, iTunes Radio feels like the first truly modern take on what terrestrial radio wishes it could be… A ‘buy’ button lives next to every song, or a wish list one for those hesitant, and it feels like this is how modern radio should function.”

“The ability to look back, click on a song to hear a clip, and then buy it is the service’s crown feature,” Hayes writes. “If you’re currently listening to a station and click on a song in the history, it pauses the music, plays the clip, and then fades back to the stream when the clip is done. Exactly what you’d hope for and expect.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve been using Apple’s iTunes Radio all summer long, since it first became available in the iOS 7 beta, and it has provided us, family, and friends with many hours of enjoyment — without a hiccup. It is extremely well-thought-out and executed; one of Apple’s very best, it’s a prime example of company at the top of its game.

We haven’t touched Pandora since the day we first launched iTunes Radio. This situation will soon be repeated by millions of iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, and Windows PC users.

The pain looming for Pandora will be intense, especially as it quickly becomes a ghetto for Android settlers who simply do not buy products in the way that Mac and iOS users do. Music labels will take note and act accordingly.

Upon general release with iOS 7 on September 18, 2013, iTunes Radio will become the #1 Internet radio service in the U.S. and, likely follow suit in every country in which it debuts.

Related articles:
Anticipating customer surprise, Apple begins training support staff on iOS 7 and iTunes Radio – August 29, 2013
Pandora would be wise not to write-off Apple’s potent iTunes Radio – August 26, 2013
Apple’s iTunes Radio to debut in September with McDonald’s, Nissan, P&G, Pepsi sponsorships – August 21, 2013
Apple’s new iTunes Radio is designed to be the largest streaming radio service – July 13, 2013
Apple announces iTunes Radio – launches this fall – June 10, 2013