A report claims that Apple is rushing to close internet radio deals for the rumoured iRadio service for the iPhone (click here for more on the iPhone) and the iPad (click here for more on the iPad), which it is said to be planning to unveil at WWDC later during the month.
The rumour comes to us via The New York Times (click here to see report). According to the newspaper, “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.
“While it is still at odds with some music companies over deal terms, Apple is said to be eager to get the licenses in time to unveil the service — nicknamed iRadio by the technology press — at its annual developers conference, which begins June 10 in San Francisco.”
So why is Apple so interested in internet radio? According to the newspaper, “Apple’s Internet radio feature is expected to be free and supported by advertising, and would represent a relatively late arrival by the company into what has become a fast-growing — if low-margin — sector of the music business. Pandora has more than 70 million regular users, the vast majority of whom do not pay, and similar features have been introduced by Google, Spotify and the radio company Clear Channel Communications.”
So what seems to be the problem? According to newspaper, “The licensing fees paid by Pandora have been a sore spot for music companies, which see promise in Apple’s service, particularly since it can be linked to sales through Apple’s iTunes store, but want higher rates. Publishers, for instance, are paid about 4 percent of Pandora’s revenue, but want as much as 10 percent from Apple.”
Is iRadio one of the features you would like to see introduced at WWDC? Let us know through a comment below.