According to “two people familiar with the matter,” Apple is super close to closing a deal with a couple of major music labels for its own streaming music service, one which is reportedly better than the deal that the labels are getting from rival service, Pandora.
While other reports have Apple “lowballing” the record industry on royalty rates of up to half what Pandora pays, CNET is reporting that new revenue options could make the iRadio deal better for labels in the long run.
The obvious way Apple could do this is to offer an easy download button for every song iRadio users hear, boosting download sales for the labels, as well as a revenue share in any advertising placed in the stream.
The sources say that Apple is close to inking the deal with Warner Music as well as Universal Music Group, though it would still need to make plans with Sony Music Group. Deals like this can come crashing down at the last minute, as well, so this all may be more bother than is warranted.
That said, Apple has been pushing for a summer time launch, perhaps during the annual developer’s conference held each June, so making deals soon is most likely important to the Cupertino-based tech and media distribution company.
While it’s fun to call this iRadio, the sources say that Apple is only referring to it as a “new streaming service,” which is reportedly more like Pandora, without an on-demand listening feature like Spotify or Rdio offer.
I, for one, am looking forward to see what Apple can bring to the streaming radio game, as they typically don’t jump in without a few tricks up the sleeve.