Zac Cichy on the future of Apple's music offerings at Whole & Part:
I’d like to make a quick list of the important pieces in this ongoing puzzle:
• Podcasts (internet radio directory)
• iTunes Music (digital purchases)
• iTunes Radio (radio replacement)
• iTunes Match (cloud music locker)
• Beats Music (all-you-can-eat streaming music)
Clearly, there is an opportunity here for Apple to consolidate some of these parts into some more coherant whole. The question isn’t if they integrate, but how. I believe there is a relatively straight forward answer.
The notion of a coherent music offering comprising of local, cloud-stored, streaming, curated music coupled with talk radio/podcasts is interesting. Currently I listen to my purchased music in the Music app, podcasts in Overcast and streaming music in Spotify.
Could Apple combine all of this into one 'Apple Radio' service? I'm sure it could, but I'm not sure how well the mixture of music and podcasts would work. While Cichy makes a good point about CarPlay integration (the car being the domain of modern radio), I don't believe combining podcasts and music would work without some real smarts behind it. I tend to listen to podcasts that are 30-90mins in length usually focusing on a set topic or collection of topics and I don't think the chatter would benefit from being interspersed with tracks from my music library or recommended by Beats. What might work (and give credence to the 'Radio' moniker) would be Apple-exclusive content from artists and musicians — think interviews, first plays, album commentary — adding value to the music and feeling somewhat like traditional radio format of talk and music combined. Just a thought.
Source: Whole & Part