Apple Signs With Sony, Gets One Step Closer To iRadio
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
It´s been a long time coming, but both All Things D and Bloomberg are reporting that Apple is getting closer to being able to unleash their Pandora-esque streaming radio service, unimaginatively dubbed “iRadio” by the press. The week began with news that Apple had settled deals with Warner Music Group, leaving Sony Music and Sony´s music publishing company as the lone holdouts in the deal. Today unnamed sources are saying Apple and Sony Music have penned a deal to bring iRadio to the masses, just days before Apple´s executives take the stage during the opening Keynote event for next week´s WWDC.
With these deals cleared, many are expecting the new service to be officially announced on Monday, though it may not release immediately.
According to Peter Kafka with All Things D, though Apple still needs to reach an agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, this should be easier to hash out than the newly signed agreement between Sony Music. To bring this service to iPad and iPhone toters, Apple first has to get the major record companies on board to allow them access to their libraries. These negotiations included the price per track Apple would pay for these privileges and if songs could be skipped over. It´s been said that Sony specifically took issue with skipping tracks and wanted Apple to pay for every track they serve up, even if the listener skips the song. Apple was allegedly able to close this week´s previous agreement with Warner by offering them ten percent of the revenue earned from ads, though it´s not been said how Apple was able to sign with Sony.
It had been previously understood that an iRadio offering would be very tightly integrated with iTunes, allowing users to not only create radio stations based on their favorite artists or playlists, but also discover recommended artists and buy their songs directly from the service. It´s now being said that Apple´s iRadio will be more like Pandora than previously thought. The streaming service could be free and ad-driven by spoken ads and iAds, Apple´s advertising platform. The service is still yet to be announced, but many are saying the iPhone maker could make a killing selling these ads. It´s also unclear if Apple will offer a paid model for this service.
It´s been said that the Cupertino company wanted to release this service in tandem with the Grammy awards earlier this year, but was unable to get the necessary approval ahead of time. Now they´re expected to at least acknowledge their new music service next week during WWDC, but Kafka believes this is all they´ll be doing.
“In any case, Apple isn´t expected to actually launch iRadio at its WWDC event. Instead, it´s expected to tell developers about the forthcoming service, which should function like an enhanced version of Pandora,” writes Kafka in his article.