One of the new features introduced with iOS 7 and iTunes 11.1 last week is iTunes Radio, which lets you listen to streamed music that you don't have to buy first. More than 11 million unique listeners have already tried out iTunes Radio, according to Apple.
iTunes Radio is Apple's first crack at a streaming music service and it's already racked up a respectable user base in the blink of an eye. The service's 11 million unique users are just in the United States, the first (and so far, only) country where iTunes Radio has launched. Apple VP Eddy Cue suggested that iTunes Radio will expand internationally eventually - though much like iTunes Stores, much of that will hinge on Apple's abilities to negotiate licensing deals with the artists and labels whose music they want to include.
By comparison, another popular streaming music service, Spotify, claims more than 24 million users. Spotify operates in 28 countries and launched in 2008. Pandora, which launched its own streaming music service in 2005, claims to have 70 million active users, with more than 200 million registered users in total.
Apple says the most listened-to song on iTunes Radio is Drake's Hold On, We're Going Home. It's one of Apple's top ten best-selling songs in the iTunes Store, as well.
iTunes Radio is free to use and ad-supported, but if you use Apple's iTunes Match subscription service, iTunes Radio is ad-free.
Are you using iTunes Radio? Have you created any stations of your own? I'm a big fan of The Smiths and other 80s alt-rock, so here's mine. Share yours in the comments!