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Apple begins international rollout for iTunes Radio, launches in Australia

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Apple on Monday announced the launch of iTunes Radio in Australia, marking the first time the company's streaming music service has been made available to listeners outside of the United States.

Like the service's American offering, fans Down Under can access a free, ad-supported edition on Macs and iOS 7 devices. Alternatively, users can opt for an ad-free experience with a AU$34.99 per year subscription to iTunes Match.

Apple appeared to begin a soft rollout of iTunes Radio in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. late last month. Several AppleInsider readers noted the service's appearance on iOS devices in those countries, though Australia is the only one to have been officially announced.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple's long-anticipated entry into the subscription music market, iTunes Radio was unveiled last June alongside iOS 7 and launched in the U.S. in September. The company announced just over one month later that iTunes Radio had streamed more than 1 billion songs to tens of millions of users since its launch.

Apple is thought to have assigned substantial resources to iTunes Radio in a bid to head off competition from streaming music catalogs like Spotify and Rdio. The company reportedly redirected key staff from the iAd sales team to iTunes Radio after hiring terrestrial radio executive Michael Pallad to helm the group.