Apple is reportedly considering spinning off iTunes Radio into its own standalone app as of the release of iOS 8. The move would be part of an effort to boost the market share of the new music streaming service.
9to5Mac reported the rumor today, citing sources briefed on the plans, who say that Apple is currently testing iTunes Radio as a standalone application with iOS 8.
iTunes Radio launched as a feature of the already established Music app in iOS 7. As a tab in the Music app, iTunes Radio may not be receiving as much attention as it might as a standalone app with its own Home screen icon that would allow users to more quickly access the service.
While the service will appear as its own app, battling for Home screen space, and listener’s ears, with established services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio, it will benefit by being pre-installed on a user’s device.
9to5Macs sources report that the standalone iTunes Radio app is nearly identical to the interface found inside the iOS Music app.
Apple had previously planned to release iTunes Radio as a standalone app in iOS 6, however issues arising during negotiations with record labels led to a delayed launch inside of the Music app in iOS 7.
Apple has a track record of spinning off functionality from its Music app into standalone apps. Apple spun off video playback for movies, TV episodes, and music videos into a Videos app as of iOS 5. iOS 6 saw Podcast functionality moving out into its own App Store app.
Of course, at this stage this is all rumor and conjecture, but we’ll keep an eye on things and report back to you.
What do you think? If Apple moves iTunes Radio out into a standalone app, will it help in the battle for marketshare with established music streaming services?