Apple Ready to Beat Pandora into UK with iTunes Radio

Apple's brand new iTunes Radio streaming music service is ready to make the jump to the United Kingdom and Canada in 2014 ahead of rival Pandora. Currently, Pandora is limited to the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

Apple hopes to grow iTunes Radio faster than PandoraApple hopes to grow iTunes Radio faster than Pandora

Along with the U.K. and Canada, Apple will be launching iTunes Radio in Australia and New Zealand in 2014. Unlike Pandora, which has relied on governments to grant it streaming rights, Apple struck international rights deals with Universal Music Group as well as other record labels, according to insider sources talking with Bloomberg.

The company also has plans to offer iTunes Radio in the Nordic countries some time next year.

Apple launched iTunes Radio along side iOS 7 in September. The software is included with the new iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system, which gives Apple a competitive edge against Pandora because there isn't any need to download extra apps. iTunes Radio is also part of iTunes 11.1, available for the Mac and Windows PCs.

iTunes Radio lets users listen to streaming music for free with limited ads, and iTunes Match subscribers can listen ad-free. Users can create their own stations or choose from several pre-made stations and play lists, and the service ties into the iTunes Store for easy song purchases, too.

Over 11 million people tried out iTunes Radio in the first five days after it was launched, and the service is becoming available to more people every day since iOS 7 is pre-installed on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Apple isn't confirming the time frame for its expansion outside of the United States, but the company has said it expects iTunes Radio to eventually be available in over 100 countries. With record label deals in place, and iTunes Radio software pre-installed, Apple's agressive expansion plans could make for some serious competition for Pandora.