Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, introduces iTunes Radio during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2013 in San Francisco, California June 10, 2013.

STEPHEN LAM/Reuters

Reports that Apple intends to offer its iTunes Radio streaming music service to Canadians in early 2014 are welcome news to a nation used to content envy.

Bundled into Apple's latest mobile software update, iOS 7, iTunes Radio launched September 18, but only in the U.S. According to "people with knowledge of the situation" who spoke to Bloomberg, the next countries to gain access include Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, as well as Nordic countries. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, when reached by the Globe and Mail.

Canadians could be forgiven for thinking that streaming radio is not for us. The world's most popular streaming music service, Pandora, has had an app for Apple devices since 2008, which has never been available in Canada. Licensing hurdles and fights over royalty rates kept it restricted to the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Story continues below advertisement

Indeed, most of the big name players are not available in Canada: Spotify, Google Play Music All Access, Rhapsody are all geo-locked, though at least Rdio and Songza are accessible.

Apple's entry into this highly competitive category was seen as a tool to push users to download songs from its industry-leading digital music store. The company earns almost $7-billion a year in music sales. Helpfully for the hardware firm, it comes pre-installed on the new iPhone 5S and 5C, of which 9 million were sold in the first weekend.

Five days after its launch, Apple bragged that it had 11 million unique listeners on its Radio service. (The most-listened to song was "Hold On, We're Going Home," by Canadian rap sensation Drake.)

That quick uptake poses a threat to Pandora, which has more than 80 million users, and a library of some 800,000 songs. Analysts expressed concern, noting that some 50 per cent of Pandora listeners rely on an Apple device to tune in. According to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan, if Apple kept up its early pace, it could suck away 15 per cent of Pandora's "listening hours" over the next six months.

The service does play ads, but U.S. users can subscribe to iTunes Match (a cloud backup service for your music library) for a monthly fee that includes zapping those pesky commercials.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies