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Apple reportedly closing in on deal with record labels for 'iRadio' service, could sign within a week

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
A report on Thursday claims Apple is close to making a deal with two major record companies to stream their respective tracks on a purported "iRadio" music streamer, with the arrangement said to be more lucrative for the labels than existing rates paid out by Pandora.


Citing people familiar with the negotiations, CNET reports that while Apple's supposed deal will offer cheaper per-stream rates equivalent to about half of what Internet radio giant Pandora pays, it will also includes additional sources of income for record labels.

The sources say Apple plans to leverage the installed iTunes user base to drive further revenue for record companies participating in the "iRadio" initiative. One method employs an easy way for listeners to buy a song they hear on the music streaming service, which will in turn boost download sales. Another option is to cut labels in to a revenue sharing scheme of audio ads Apple is reportedly planning to launch with the service.

While "iRadio" have circulated for months, sources claim Warner Music and Universal Music Group could ink a deal with Apple within the next week. The report is somewhat sketchy, however, as these same people warn that the arrangement is so tenuous that it might fall apart. Concerns are also being aired over the proposed added revenue model.

"The only thing concrete in contract is the per-play rate," said one source. "If you end up having no ad revenue, that's still zero. And we won't know what the buying habits will be. Will people streaming still take the time to buy from iTunes?"

Certain particulars are consistent with previous rumors, including a rollout goal of summertime at the latest. The sources also fleshed out the service a bit more, saying it won't offer on-demand listening, but will add features not supported by Pandora, like the ability to restart songs.

It was reported in March that an "iRadio" launch was being held up by "cheap" royalty offers on the part of Apple. The company was said to be offering about 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, exactly half of what Pandora currently pays out. Record labels believe Apple should pay about 21 cents per 100 songs, or the set rate for companies that don't own broadcast operations, as established by the Copyright Royalty Board.
post #2 of 13
I guess there goes pandora...
post #3 of 13
If Apple is aiming to go up against Pandora and Spotify, On-Demand search/listening is a MUST HAVE. As well as the social integration. Otherwise, more and more people will turn to Spotify and the like
post #4 of 13

"The service, according to sources, most closely resembles Pandora because it doesn't offer on-demand listening."


Sorry Apple I'll stick with Spotify.

post #5 of 13

I hope the couple fields of info I filled in on Ping are still okay.

post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

After training Pandora for several years now with probably thousands of thumbs ups and downs for songs not to mention all the various radio stations I have created, what would be the incentive to switch to this?

Apple should just buy Pandora.

post #7 of 13

I like Pandora.

post #8 of 13
~yawn~ Ping X2? I mean, it may get a little more momentum, but I'm not terribly interested.

In other news, the Apple store is down. Fingers crossed it's a TB Display update. :O
post #9 of 13
Really can't see how this will compete with Spotify....crazy that they aren't offering On Demand! This is a real mistake.
post #10 of 13

It shouldn't be another Pandora. It should be, when you listen to a *normal* radio station through iTunes (as opposed to your web browser or radio set) it listens too and recognises songs that play and offers to let you buy them. And part of the money should go to the poor indy guy who's running the radio station. This would give talented DJs a revenue model, and encourage the natural migration of radio to the Internet.

post #11 of 13

Will be interested in the cost. Spotify Premium is too much IMO. $10/Month to listen on any device? No thanks...

Edited by tdmelvin - 4/5/13 at 5:47am
post #12 of 13
I've been using Pandora for a good while now, & really enjoy it. I mostly use Mobil apps like my iPad & occ my phone to stream thru out my house. Just love the entire set up. However, buying songs isn't that easy. I usually end up capturing songs I like by tagging them & then going to my main computer & buying a large block of songs at one time. The only thing that would make me switch is if I could do all that more easily thru my iPad. So if apple makes it better with their program, I'm certain ill end up using it.
post #13 of 13

Pandora's OK, but it has its limits unless you pay for a subscription; same with Spotify (and while it has no bearing on the function of the service, the meaningless name "Spotify" annoys me). I think Apple could easily provide the same service as both Pandora and Spotify but perhaps with better implementation. Personally, I pretty much only use Pandora when I'm in my car with the kids (that Disney channel is a life saver) or I'm doing some other activity where I'm not really listening to music, but using it as background noise (parties, cooking, etc). Granted, I'm of the generation that's used to buying music that you get to keep and then listen to without having to pay for it over and over, be interrupted by ads (really breaks the mood when I'm getting some lovin) or be limited to how often I can play it. For example, I just bought Dance Gavin Dance's "Downtown Battle Mountain" from iTunes back in February of this year and I've already listened to Lemon Meringue Tie 83 times as of the 8th of April (yeah, it's that good). This crazy-high playcount is the result of my listening to it not only on my iPhone and iPad via iCloud, but on my non-internet connected iPod nano when I was nowhere near a reliable connection, which is simply impossible with a streaming-only service. I have high hopes for iRadio and I am excited about it...a little.

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