Apple on Monday unveiled its hotly anticipated iTunes Radio Service as it announced a dramatic overhaul of the touchscreen interface for its popular smartphones and tablets.
The free internet radio service features over 200 stations "and an incredible catalogue of music from the iTunes Store," Apple said in a statement as it opened its annual developers conference in San Francisco.
The ad-supported free music service is set to launch later this year and "offers music fans access to thousands of new songs every week, as well as serving up exclusive music from new and popular artists before you hear them anywhere else," Apple said.
The service will be integrated with Apple's personal voice-assistant software programme Siri, so users will be able to find out "who plays that song?" or ask the digital assistant to "play more like this."
"iTunes Radio is an incredible way to listen to personalized radio stations which have been created just for you," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services.
"It's the music you love most and the music you're going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click."
Several analysts saw iTunes Radio as a nice feature but lacking the ability to lure people away from popular internet music rivals.
"The iTunes Radio announcement turns out to be much ado about almost nothing," said Forrester analyst James McQuivey.
"None of what the company announced moves the industry forward or changes the game. Spotify and Pandora have little to worry about from Apple."