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5 Tech Toys More Beloved Than Apple Products

Stocks in this article: AAPL AMZN P MSFT GOOG

Streaming music service
Apple contender: iTunes Radio
Alternative: Pandora

Hey, iTunes Radio is the third most-popular streaming service only a few months after its launch! Eat that, troglodytes!

It's surpassed Spotify, it's more giant than Google Play, it's slapping around Slacker Radio, it's... wait, what? It only has 8% of the streaming market despite having more than 40% of the smartphone market? And the No. 2 streaming service -- iHeartRadio with 9% -- is basically an app for terrestrial radio? So more people like listening to regular radio with its tiny playlists and corny drive-time DJs than iTunes Radio and its streamy goodness?

Yep, and that's not even the worst of it. Because it knows absolutely nothing about streaming other than the fact that consumers like it better than buying downloads, Apple has invested in it solely as a Trojan horse for download sales. That's worked out about as well as you'd expect. After Nielsen reported that music download sales fell for the first time ever in 2013, it was discovered that only 1% to 2% of iTunes Radio listeners clicked the "buy" button when listening to songs.

But hey, that's better than nothing, right? And "better than nothing" is why this company still sells the iPod and will do so until it's unprofitable, right? Right, but the difference is that people once bought the iPod in droves and used it to revolutionize music. Apple's iTunes Radio is obsolete on arrival and asks users to do a whole lot more than Pandora, which gives them a passive, curated listening experience that they never have to download.

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