Apple Rumors of the Day - iRadio to Compete with Pandora, No Magic TV ... Yet
BTIG Research has unveiled their 2013 predictions, and amongst them are two rumors about two oft-discussed and oft-hoped for new Apple projects...
Here's what they had to say:
Apple Launches iRadio. With consumer behavior increasingly shifting toward access to a music catalog from ownership of specific songs, Apple launches an iRadio service. We expect iRadio to be incorporated into the iTunes iOS app with personalized radio functionality akin to Pandora, integrated with iTunes to purchase music and other music related content such as concert information/tickets/merchandise via Live Nation and Ticketmaster. We believe Apple is negotiating direct deals with music labels to offer a far more robust service than current digital radio services that rely on compulsory licenses (see Oct. 2012 blog post, click here). iRadio will not only be a global solution, but will include increased skips per hour and extended caching for offline playback. While a Spotify-like music subscription service will not be included in iRadio's launch, we believe it could come in future iterations.
Apple Does Not Launch "Mythical" Television, while Others Launch Virtual MVPDs. Despite Tim Cook's repeated statements that the television is an area of "intense interest" for Apple (see Dec. 2012 blog, click here), the mythical Apple Television is not released in 2013. The so-called "next big thing" remains hampered by concerns over the legality of the managed/specialized service exception to net neutrality rules, TV Everywhere usage restrictions and solidifying nationwide coverage/accessibility. While Apple is focused on working with MVPD/ISPs to ensure very high quality of service and to leverage existing programming contracts, we expect at least DISH and Intel to launch over-the-top, virtual MVPD services in 2013 (will not have the same QoS that Apple is striving for). We expected both of these services to launch in 2012, however, reaching programming agreements proved harder than expected (DISH has only been able to launch an international version of this product with Roku). The launch of virtual MVPDs would be a meaningful positive for ISPs (given the need for robust bandwidth) and are a negative for satellite/DBS operators who do not offer broadband.
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