SOFTWARE HOUSE Apple reportedly will launch its iTunes Radio music streaming service in the UK in "early 2014" to challenge Spotify and Google Play Music.
That's according to Bloomberg, which has heard from people "with knowledge of the situation" that Apple will expand the rollout of its iTunes Radio service at the beginning of 2014. This timing is likely because Apple wants to beat music streaming service Pandora to a UK launch, the sources added, with the rival service yet to have planned an international rollout.
We already knew that iTunes Radio was coming to the UK, with Apple SVP Eddie Cue confirming that the service would be made available in over 100 countries, including the UK, but this is the first word of a release date for the Spotify competitor.
Cue said in an interview with the AP last week, "One of our top priorities is to bring iTunes Radio obviously here in the UK, but everywhere in the world. We certainly want to be in more than 100 countries."
As well as the UK, Apple's early 2014 rollout reportedly will also see iTunes Radio launch in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
When it does eventually arrive on British soil, iTunes Radio will offer users both paid-for and free streaming options. Apple's ad-free offering will be available to iTunes Match subscribers, which costs £21.99 annually - cheaper than Spotify's £10 monthly 'free' optionthat reportedly will serve adverts every 15 minutes.
Apple has yet to comment on the report. µ