Apple Ready to launch ‘iRadio’ Service as Deals with Record Labels Nearly Complete?
On Thursday, CNET reported that Apple is reportedly very close to completing a deal with both Warner Music and Universal Music Group for its rumored iRadio service. Earlier this week, reports suggested that Apple was looking to launch the service as early as this summer, and with new reports of the companies finalizing deals, it appears that the previous rumors may be correct.
With its iRadio service, Apple will reportedly be using a different revenue stream and adding features not seen in other streaming music services such as Spotify and Pandora. Initial reports suggested that negotiations slowed because of Apple’s offering of low royalty which have likely been resolved since then. It is unclear, however, if the record labels settled for a lower rate or if Apple offered a higher rate.
That includes a quick way for consumers to buy a song they hear, potentially boosting download sales from iTunes, as well as a revenue share of new audio ads Apple is planning to add to the free service, according to sources.
The product would be tied to iTunes, and available on mobile devices.
The service, according to sources, most closely resembles Pandora because it doesn’t offer on-demand listening. Apple is building some unique features, such as the ability to jump back to the beginning of a song, according to one person briefed on the company’s plans.
It is possible that Apple would launch the new service at the company’s WWDC conference during the summer. Warner Music and Universal Music Group will be enough for the company to launch the service, however, they will also need to strike a deal with Sony Music Group to get the full library of songs. It is possible for the deals to fall through, with content and royalty rate negotiations still continuing, but with all of these reports, it is all but confirmed that Apple will be launching a streaming music service later this year.