Now that Duran Duran is back in the studio to record again, I’ll admit that I’m taking a second and third glance at some of my music news subscriptions. In the past couple of days, I’ve read a few things that have me wondering what the world (the music world) will be like when #DD14 is released.
Yesterday, Apple announced that yes – not only will we have the iPod, the iPad and iPhones, but we will soon have iRadio as well. It is a part of the iOS7 update that will be coming to your Apple device soon. As a current Spotify user, I must admit that I was at least a little curious as to what iRadio will have to offer. I like the idea that it seems to be completely integrated into the OS, and that it will likely be as intuitive as the other Apple products I own. Truth be told – we’re an Apple family for the most part (My son refuses to get on board – which isn’t surprising when you understand that he is a programmer/gamer and believes in open source). iRadio is different from Spotify because it is free (it is ad-supported and “free” for everyone…see below though!!) and the content comes directly from the iTunes store. I like that I could be listening, hear something I like and then buy it with one-click. There are 200 stations that Apple will curate, as well as the option for custom stations that “learn” as you go in much the same way as Pandora. The official press release from Apple also talks about doing pre-release streaming of albums (I like that idea) as well as other special events like the iTunes Festival in the UK (again, I like!) The service is also Siri-compatible…if I can get this to work in my car with my iPhone, I will never have to listen to FM radio again….and I very much like that idea. As I said above, iRadio is free. However, if you wish to listen ad-free, you can do that. How? You can become an iTunes iMatch user. (Is your head spinning yet?) iMatch users will have all of their iTunes content, including CD’s that you have imported on your own into iTunes, stored in iCloud, so iRadio can take all of that incredibly useful information about you and create even more personalized content. Good luck with that. The cost? $24.99 a year. Right now, I believe I’m paying $9.99 a month for Spotify – I have the premium version – and I’ll be honest, $24.99 sounds like a deal in comparison, clouds or not.
The real question is – how could something like this benefit Duran Duran? I’m sure you all remember that AYNIN was released purely as an iTunes exclusive, and it shot to #1 – albeit briefly – as a result. I suppose that the optimistic part of me believes that this could very well be to the band’s benefit, if they so chose to work with Apple again. I’m seeing an exclusive download, iRadio promotion, maybe streaming prior to release (I personally love that idea because I’m impatient and can’t wait to hear their new music…something tells me I am not alone), and who knows – maybe streaming concerts could be next.
I have no doubt there are plenty of naysayers out there. Not everyone loves Apple, and I understand some of the concerns and sentiments. I’m always amazed by some of the complaints because the fact is, I’m not very technologically minded myself and yet I have almost never had a single problem with any of my Apple equipment. In fact – I just replaced the hard drive, internal battery AND gave this laptop extra memory because I adore the product so much. Even so, I know my fellow Duranie well enough to hear the arguments being formulated as I type. All I am saying is that this could be a great opportunity for the band, if not to break into new age demographics, then to quite possibly reach listeners who might not take the time to wander onto Amazon or into a music store (are there any out there???) on their own. iRadio will reach many new users that have never once used Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody or any of the newer radio products…and I must admit that I will be watching closely to see how this affects both internet AND FM radio. (My guess is that FM radio will continue it’s very sad downward slide from here, and I’m really not sure about Pandora – I can’t see how that service will NOT be affected somehow though, but I’ve been wrong before!)
What do you think? I have a few links to share:
Comment below, I’d love to read what others are thinking!