We’ve been hearing about Apple’s plans for a music streaming service for over a year now. Negotiations with the labels have kept Apple’s product, commonly referred to as “iRadio,” at bay. With competitors like Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and now Google, the race is on.
Word on the street has been that a least a couple of the big labels have been holding out on Apple, but now Warner has signed on. All signs point to Apple wanting iRadio to be ready in time for an unveiling at WWDC on June 10th.
“Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week,” according to The New York Times:
Apple’s service, a Pandora-like feature that would tailor streams of music to each user’s taste, has been planned since at least last summer. But Apple has made little progress with record labels and music publishers, which have been seeking higher royalty rates and guaranteed minimum payments, according to these people, who spoke anonymously about the private talks.
After Universal partnered with Apple, Warner was suspected to be the next label that would be brought on board. Now that Apple has the rights to stream Warner’s music, Sony is the last major label that hasn’t signed on.
Apple is reportedly offering to pay higher royalties than Pandora after first attempting to lowball the labels earlier in the negotiation talks. Another piece of the pie is that Apple is offering to give the labels a piece of the ad revenue it plans to generate with iRadio. Like Pandora, short ads would reportedly play between tracks. Users would also be able to quickly purchase a streamed track from iTunes as a digital download.
Source: The New York Times