September 19, 2013 9:07

Apple launches iTunes radio

The service is currently only available in the US

Apple launches iTunes radio

Photo: Apple

iTunes Radio, Apple's music streaming service, has launched today (September 19).

The long-awaited service was announced during a press conference earlier this month (September 10) for the new iPhones 5S and 5C in Cupertino, California, where around 200 new features for the iOS 7 software were revealed and confirmed. As part of this, Apple has released iTunes 11.1, which has several new features, 9to5Mac reports.

The new version of iTunes, which is currently only available in the US, will feature over 250 stations with a large catalogue of music after Apple recently inked deals with all the major record labels. The service will go ahead Stateside after the brand made sponsorship deals with companies such as McDonald's, Pepsi and Nissan. Users will hear an audio advert every 15 minutes and see a video ad every hour. Brands such as McDonald's, Pepsi, Nissan and Procter & Gamble have committed to take out advertising campaigns. It is claimed that iTunes Radio adverts will be opened up to brands who agree to spend at least $1 million with Apple from the start of 2014.

iTunes Radio users will be offered the use of personalised radio stations tailored to their own taste as dictated by the music they already listen to on iTunes. Additional stations will be based on genre with others curated by Apple.

Other new features included in the iTunes update are Genius Shuffle, which apparently instantly plays songs that go together. There is also a new Podcast Stations feature which allows users to create custom stations of your podcasts that update automatically with new episodes.

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