Apple iRadio, the company’s “Pandora killer” will launch in 2013, beating Apple’s first mass produced television to market. Apple has been in talks with major record labels for months and analysts have long believed that its strong b2b relationships with labels because of its iTunes platform would allow the company to develop a program capable of gaining mass appeal.
BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield on Friday called for a 2013 launch because of obvious new design features in Apple iTunes 11, namely a “radio” button. Greenfield claims the iRadio platform will launch “well before” Apple television. Greenfield writes:
“iRadio appears to be a product that will materialize far sooner than some form of Apple Television product, which continues to be a work in progress.”
Greenfield then explains the Apple television delay:
“In August 2012, we revisited the Apple Television debate, where we highlighted three key issues holding the product back: Nationwide Coverage, Are Managed Services Legal and TV Everywhere Usage restrictions as a follow up to our April 2012 blog post, where we stated: Apple’s pursuit of the television will take longer to come to fruition than investors are likely expecting.”
Finally he adds:
“While we believe MVPD/ISPs such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable stand to benefit immensely from opening up their API to enable a premium priced Apple generated user interface, we believe the product could take at least another year to materialize, if not longer due all of the aforementioned challenges.”
BTIG believes that Apple will make a very hard push to implement iRadio in every home in America. As several analysts have noted, iRadio provides Apple with the potential to expand its local and national advertising campaigns, while segmenting its music business further into the consumers home.
iRadio could also be the perfect sales focused tool for Apple by providing links to iTunes song which earn the company a 30% revenue per sale.
Record labels are believed to love the deal because of Apple’s ability to earn money on each song played plus additional income from the sale of iTunes song purchases.