You may have heard that Apple will be launching iTunes Radio.
Like Pandora and Spotify, iTunes Radio will offer consumer’s a “freemium” experience—pay to remove ads by upgrading to the $24.99 yearly subscription to iTunes Match, Apple's cloud-based music storage feature. It’s an awesome deal, and a potential disaster for Pandora and Spotify.
iTunes Radio is, in most ways, is similar to the other services, but iTunes Radio will come ready with all of your personal data--your likes and dislikes essentially preloaded via iTunes Match. It reportedly will also allow you to download songs you listen to instantly, and keep forever. Purchased songs—using iTunes Match, are available on all of your (Apple) devices. This sounds like a nice-full-circle product for Apple, and consumers.
I suspect most of Apple’s first customers will be those who have not yet embraced the Pandora or Spotify experience—the unwashed masses if you will. They are “massifying” the streaming radio experience and increasing the value of being an Apple loyalist at the same time. While I suspect this is no where near a death knell for Pandora and Spotify, they might want to reconfigure some of their growth projections.