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Apple Digital Music Sales Could Continue to Rise with ‘iRadio’

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Apple wants to keep its dominant position in the digital download business, and a Pandora-like music streaming service – let’s say: iRadio, as rumoured – could help the company achieve that, because the majority of consumers already buy music using iTunes.

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Apple sold 63% of all digital tracks in the fourth quarter of 2012, the most recent NPD Group study revealed, seconded by Amazon at a distant 22%. But how do the iRadio music streaming service and digital music sales connect to each other through iTunes? GigaOm has a suggestion how.

iRadio would be a Pandora-like service, and will likely come with more functionality and fewer restrictions in terms of music selections and song skipping, but won’t offer on-demand streaming of complete albums.

An iRadio streaming service will drive more music sales simply because a significant percentage (38%) of US consumers think that it’s important to own their own music, which is absolutely understandable. However, the NPD Group study has pointed out that with Pandora this percentage was 41% and “many free streamers attributed buying more downloads to their discovery on radio or via on-demand service”.

In other words, everything is set for an iRadio, with the aim to reach more users with a Pandora-like music streaming service, and therefore to prevent them from switching to a “full-blown access model”, which in this case is Spotify.

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