Pandora Radio launched a greatly revamped version of their app (version 5.0), including a new logo and personalization, on Apple’s App Store in time for the release of iOS7. It’s a daring move for the company since iOS7 also happens to come with iTunes Radio, a Pandora-esque app—how very original. This does beg the question: “Who is going to win out?”
Both are music apps that stream music based on the tastes of the user, but that’s where the similarities stop. Pandora provides users a more immersive experience to users by providing song lyrics and track features (like musical influences). Additionally, it is not limited to certain devices and offers live internet streaming. All of these functions are not available to iTunes Radio.
Despite how Pandora seems to beat out iTunes Radio in many aspects, the latter overcomes Pandora in terms of music library—probably one of the most important attributes of a radio, especially for music junkies. iTunes Radio totes approximately 27 million tracks in contrast to Pandora’s 1 million, and gives the user the opportunity to explore new music through its “featured music” dash. While Pandora wins over iTunes Radio over multiple minute features, it loses in the larger, more essential category, music variety.
What does all this mean? In the end, it all chalks up to what people want from their radio. On one hand, iTunes Radio offers a monstrously large library, a very significant factor to music junkies. On the other hand, Pandora offers cross platform and multi-device syncing and access. While Apple users will find themselves split between iTunes Radio and Pandora, the latter can tap into all other non-Apple markets.
One of the biggest things people look for these days is the convenience of being able to sync and use a piece of software on any device they want. iTunes Radio is definitely a very strong contender with someone who owns an iPhone, iPad, and Macbook. What if one of those items was swapped with a non-Apple product? The notion of being able to conveniently listen to your favorite stations anywhere becomes moot. Pandora can be used on most any smartphone, tablet, and computer available. While iTunes Radio might be, overall, a better radio, Pandora will probably outdo it based on this idea of convenience.