Between Pandora, Rdio, Spotify, Nokia, Google, and who-knows-how-many others (Beats!), the streaming Internet radio market is not exactly empty. But that of course isn't stopping industry behemoth Apple from jumping into the fray with its own iTunes Radio service -- which, according to AdAge, will be available in the U.S. sometime next month.
Just what will be so special about Apple's service? Let us know when you figure it out. The early specs are as follows: 200 Apple-curated stations, with personalized options based on your taste or your existing iTunes library. Listening will be free, with audio ads running every 15 minutes and a video ad every hour. Those who purchase iTunes Match, Apple's cloud-storage music service, can listen without ads.
"iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalized radio stations which have been created just for you," Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, told NME.
Except that there at least half a dozen other companies also offering radio stations that have been created just for you. Apple's of course, will offer the ability to purchase any given song from the iTunes store with one click -- and the company is betting on this as a revenue generator. But with so many listening to Pandora or Spotify or whatever else all day -- as reflected in the rise of music streaming, with accordingly abysmal royalties going to artists and songwriters -- do that many people really care what's in their iTunes libraries anymore?
Guess we'll find out next month.