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You may have noticed, amid the hubbub about the streaming service, that Apple also rolled out a couple of new handsets. Yeah, they’ve already sold 9 million of those puppies.

iTUNES RADIO: WINNING ALREADY

Big Early Listening Base, On Heels of Giant Phone Sales, Puts Apple on Track to Prevail
According to reports in Digital Music News and other new-media outlets, Apple’s iTunes Radio has already amassed 11 million unique users since its debut late last week.

As of last month, Pandora had 72m+ users, which, DMN points out, means that in a couple of days, Apple’s acquired 15% of the audience it took Pandora years to accumulate. CNET said it in a headline: “At This Pace, iTunes Radio Beats Pandora in a Month.”

Then again, iTunes Radio is only part of Apple’s larger music “ecosystem,” as they like to call it (especially in the Nissan ads you’ll hear on the service), so while it’s a new functionality, it’s available in a space that’s already familiar to users.

And while the iTunes store is a giant force in the music biz (not to mention movies, TV, games and apps) with some 575m users, it’s not what controls the weather in that ecosystem.

You may have noticed, amid the hubbub about the streaming service, that Apple also rolled out a couple of new handsets, the iPhone 5S and 5C, with a new operating system, iOS7. Yeah, they’ve already sold 9 million of those puppies, and demand for the 5S actually exceeded supply. The very affordable ($99 and up) 5C will extend the iPhone’s penetration to dozens of new global markets.

iTunes Radio will also be the streaming service of choice for millions of iPad and iPod Touch users, natch.

Now iTunes Radio will be integrated into Nissan's Rogue, Versa Note and LEAF vehicles; a deal announcing the pact was announced just today. More iOS7 functionality, including Siri and Apple Maps, will follow. We're talking about hybrid and electric cars that will essentially be iPhones on wheels; in other words, the car of the future is here. Look for more such integration (and not just in Nissans) with great rapidity—an emerging market significant enough to motivate an Arbitron report last week.

True, Pandora won a significant court decision against ASCAP last week—ironically, on the very eve of iTunes Radio’s arrival—and their stock spiked while Apple’s dropped a bit in the immediate aftermath. It was enough to inspire some observers to give Pandora the news cycle.

But after those phone-sales numbers, Apple moved up 6% at the opening of the market yesterday and is currently at $493.20. Pandora slipped 10% yesterday. Of course, some theorize that Apple's innovations will help the streaming market overall, including Pandora. We shall see if the rising tide really lifts all boats, or just hits the competition like a tsunami.

Yes, it’s early, but iTunes Radio is already a giant. For a few thoughts on how it works and what kind of music it serves up, check out our story from its debut day.


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