Apple has been long rumoured to enter the music streaming business, since they acquired an online music company, LaLa in 2010. iRadio is expected to be a free to use service supported by iAds that will display image ads and stream audio ads. The music streaming service will support options to buy tracks that users wish to download from the iTunes music store.
The service will launch for customers in the US. Details about international rollout remain unclear at this point. Offering a free streaming service as opposed to offering a paid subscription is quite interesting since Apple has always refrained from the ad supported model.
The company has taken quite long to enter the music streaming business even as other services that began by offering apps on the App Store have become hugely popular. Many believe that establishing deals with the record labels was the biggest hurdle in rolling out the service and the company waited until the terms were favorable. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet and Software services, is believed to have played a major role in getting all major record labels. One of the major points of differences in negotiating the deal had been been compensation for songs skipped by users, according to the report.
The highly anticipated new service—expected to be available only in the U.S.—will allow users to stream a radio-like channel of music based on their interests. It will be supported by text and audio ads from Apple’s iAd service, people familiar with the matter said. It will feature “Buy” buttons to drive downloads, they added.
The new iOS will also include new ways to share photos and videos with other iPhone users and other enhancements, these people said.
WWDC 2013 keynote event goes live today at 10 AM (Pacific Time) where the Cupertino, Calif. based company will unveil the future of software for iOS and OS X.