iTunes Radio? Pandora And Slacker Are Not Impressed

Apple unveiled its long-rumored iRadio, er, iTunes Radio service this morning at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Now that we know the basics of the streaming music service (which is supposed to launch this fall), one of the obvious questions is: What does this mean for existing Internet radio/online music services like Pandora and Spotify?

Well, I emailed Pandora, Rdio, Slacker, and Spotify to see what they thought. Spotify declined to comment, and Rdio says it’s still working on something (I’ll update this post when I get it), but the other services all sent me brief statements. There are no huge surprises, and yes, the dreaded “validate” word gets trotted out once. Even so, there’s some entertaining talk about why they’re not feeling too threatened by the news.

Here’s Pandora’s statement:

Apple’s new feature is an evolution of their iTunes offering to bring it on par with other streaming music services that have added radio into their feature sets. We have spent the last 13 years singularly focused on redefining radio and benefit from unrivalled intellectual property, deep experience in delivering personalized playlists, and ubiquitous product availability across every platform. We make it effortless for our more than 200 million registered users to connect with the music they love anytime, anywhere.

Here’s Slacker CEO Jim Cady:

Maybe people do want to rent music, after all.

Apple finally jumping into the streaming music space validates the work we’ve been doing at Slacker since 2010, offering anytime, anywhere access to the world’s music library on any device. Apple creates great products, but unless you’re in the Apple ecosystem you’re out of luck. Walled gardens don’t benefit listeners and Slacker believes in the importance of giving users true freedom to access their content, whether they’re on iOS, Android, Windows, a smart TV, Xbox or in-car infotainment system.

Slacker also takes a uniquely human approach to content programming, mixing in news from ABC, ESPN sports, and updates from The Weather Channel for uniquely personalized entertainment that goes well beyond music.

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