The debut of iTunes Radio last summer signaled a fundamental shift in Apple's music strategy. First and foremost, iTunes Radio was Apple's not-so-subtle acknowledgment that the musical landscape that framed Steve Jobs' oft-repeated line about consumers wanting to own their music had changed.
Pandora. Spotify. Songza. Hell, even YouTube. Today there is no shortage of ways for consumers to listen to and discover nearly the entirety of the world's music for free. iTunes Radio was Apple's attempt to keep music lovers inside the Apple ecosystem. If consumers were busy streaming music via sites like Pandora, Apple figured it might as well offer its own streaming service in an attempt to funnel users towards the ever-tantalizing "Buy" button.