Music service's structure, plus Apple's culture, holding up 'iRadio' service

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Industry sources are saying that Google's willingness to acquiesce to music label demands and the structure of the hybrid service Apple is trying to build are the main reasons why the search giant's music service is live now while the iPhone maker's offering might miss WWDC.

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Google rolled out All Access for Google Play Music users this week during the keynote for its I/O developer conference, beating Apple by at least weeks to what some industry players hope will be the future of music: subscription-based services. Meanwhile, Apple's status as a hardware tech giant isn't helping it as much as it would have hoped with the music labels, sources tell The Verge.

One obstacle to Apple rolling out its long-anticipated "iRadio" service is the Cupertino company's longtime resistance to paying advances to the major copyright holders. That, along with an initial lowball royalty offer to the record labels, has kept Apple's service in a holding pattern, even as the company's Worldwide Developers Conference approaches.

Instead of an up front assurance payment, Apple is said to be offering a combination of royalties per track streamed, a share of iRadio's advertising revenue, and a guaranteed minimum payment if the previous two options prove insufficient. Universal Music may have already agreed to Apple's terms, but Sony Music is thought to be the main holdout.

Google, meanwhile, is said to have agreed to pay advances in order to get its service out the door. Google's choice to hew to the path worn by services like Spotify and Rdio ? that of the plain subscription service with some radio and discovery elements ? is also said to be more to the music labels' liking. The labels, burnt early in the last decade by rampant file sharing, are looking to secure a steady revenue stream in exchange for their product, assuring that songwriters, engineers, publishers, and other shareholders continue to be paid.

Apple's offering, on the other hand, is reportedly more of a hybrid service, blending elements of Internet radio with other on-demand features. The licensing agreements for such a service, sources say, must be built from the ground up, and those negotiations are part of what's holding the service up.

In addition to Google's All Access, Apple's offering would join Spotify, Rdio, Microsoft's Xbox Music, and others in the new generation of music discovery and consumption sources. The record labels are encouraged by the number of options consumers have to access their product of late. iTunes may have contributed greatly to the industry's first revenue growth in years, but the labels have historically been wary of Apple's overwhelming influence on their industry.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,448member
    9to5 reports a security issue with iTunes that might need patching too. Free copies of the 74 minute Daft Punk Random Access Memories that shouldn't be that easy?

    EDIT: I noticed that the album was streamed for free at iTunes a few days ago. Could that be at the root of it?
  • Reply 2 of 41
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    Google.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 512ke View Post



    Google.


     


    Would someone please ban this toolbag? They add absolutely nothing to this forum.

  • Reply 4 of 41
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,679member
    Of course google will acquiesce to the labels. They'll just add ads to the music and/or just mine what users are listening to and pop up ads is the user's google services.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,448member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post



    Of course google will acquiesce to the labels. They'll just add ads to the music and/or just mine what users are listening to and pop up ads is the user's google services.


    Actually that's the rumored way Apple's streaming "radio" service will work. Targeted ads with the revenue split between the content owner and Apple. Google's service on the other hand appears to be paid rather than ad-supported. Dunno for sure yet tho.


     


    EDIT: According to several different news articles, Google will not have a free ad-supported version of it's All-Access music streaming service.  If the rumor of Apple's being ad-supported turns out to be true that would be a big 'ol role-switch.


     


    Apple data-mining to support streaming while Google sells it's music service? Nah. . .

  • Reply 6 of 41
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    If Apple and Sony were close on price but still duking it out, a part of the reason Google might have agreed to Sony's terms is specifically to *torpedo* Apple's service.

    It seems fairly self-evident that if two party's are negotiating with Sony and one party agrees to their demands that this will give them the seal of approval to a certain extent and validate Sony's position versus Apple's.

    Google's recent agreement might have been the very thing that stopped the negotiations with Apple and that alone might be the reason Google is doing it. We all know Google doesn't give a shit about the arts or media in general and that it's likely that whatever service they bring out will be gone in a few years anyway.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,448member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    If Apple and Sony were close on price but still duking it out, that a part of the reason Google might have agreed to Sony's terms is specifically to *torpedo* Apple's service.



    It seems fairly self-evident that if two party's are negotiating with Sony and one party agrees to their demands that this will give them the seal of approval to a certain extent and validate Sony's position versus Apple's.



    Google's recent agreement might have been the very thing that stopped the negotiations with Apple and that alone might be the reason Google is doing it. We all know Google doesn't give a shit about the arts or media in general and that it's likely that whatever service they bring out will be gone in a few years anyway.


    It sounds as tho at least Sony, if not some other music label, isn't as fond (or trusting?) of Apple's intent to monetize the service thru targeted ads as they are of Google's straight-up cash royalty offer. Why Apple would be pursuing an ad-supported radio while Google went with paid is strange indeed.

  • Reply 8 of 41
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Seems pretty obvious Google was going to do whatever the content providers wanted in order to get a Spotfiy killer out there before Appe announced anything. Since Apple doesn't care about being first (and at this point there is no first mover advantage in this space) they're not doing that.
  • Reply 9 of 41


    Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?

  • Reply 10 of 41
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


     


    Would someone please ban this toolbag? They add absolutely nothing to this forum.



     


    Seconded.  If you look at his posting history, aside from one time where he takes a homophobe to task, every single post is a one sentence, negative troll/insult "f*ck Apple" kind of remark.  


    He contributes nothing but hate.

  • Reply 11 of 41
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,679member
    Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?

    Why be first to market when you can watch others fail and learn from them. iPad wasn't the first tablet. iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. iPhone wasn't the first smartphone.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,448member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    Why be first to market when you can watch others fail and learn from them. iPad wasn't the first tablet. iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. iPhone wasn't the first smartphone.


    With several streaming music services already, some that have been around for quite awhile now, neither Google nor Apple could claim "first" anyway.

  • Reply 13 of 41

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post


    Apple needs to loosen up and be first to market - especially after such a long time of not really bringing anything new to their game. Holding out for specific terms is only going to make Apple look like it's late to the party. The only reason Apple is successful with iPad and iPhone is because it was the first one out the gate on those types of products and it took years for others to catch up. Now Apple is trying to catch up to other streaming services, but won't bend on terms. Apple, you aren't as convincing as you used to be. I wonder why?



     


    Apple didn't have the first smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or PC. What on Earth are you talking about? Heck, by your logic, why bother with streaming? Pandora beat them to it.

  • Reply 14 of 41
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    This article sounds even more like they aren't doing Pandora/Spotify but Lala.com, despite alleged sources basically saying they were doing Pandora/Spotify.

    Or perhaps nothing and these claims of 'delays' are the start of seeding the typical 'we were riding about what we said but then something screwed it up' that comes up with a lot of Apple rumors these days. Like how the 'real' TV has been delayed until 2014 due to production issues etc. I expect in a couple of months or so Apple will release a n dumb Cinema Display with HDMI and a bigger size or two which was always the plan but then the analysts etc will say that 'licensing' or such prevented Apple from releasing the real AppleTV at least for now so this dumb display is an in between.

    Just like if Apple restores Lala they will claim its a midway to the real service. Double if its brought into the paid iTunes Match only.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    jrogowskjrogowsk Posts: 8member
    Why should Apple bother with it's own streaming music. Currently there are multiple streaming services on the appstore that lead or can lead directly to iTunes. There is the well reported Pandora and Spotify, but also iRadio, TuneIn radio and many others. Let these companies and Google duke it out while paying royalties to the record companies. People still want to own their own music, and when they hear a song they like, Apple should make arrangements to have an iTunes link available so that purchases can be made. Pandora and TuneIn Radio have such a link, but I noted iRadio does not. However I have been able to play iRadio while turning on Shazam and identifying the name of the song. Apple should put music identification software into iTunes, and make financial arrangements with the various streaming music companies rather then trying to compete with them.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,252member
    Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    Apple didn't have the first smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or PC. What on Earth are you talking about? Heck, by your logic, why bother with streaming? Pandora beat them to it.

    And not being first often has tremendous advantages. Learning from others mistakes is very cost effective.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "Missing" WWDC?

    Why would a developer's conference ever have been a deadline for a music streaming service? It would be a pretty random footnote--they could work it in if they had to, but why would they need to?
  • Reply 19 of 41
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.

    I highly doubt that. It's not just Google they're up against.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,448member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post



    Had Google not been so quick to copy the iPhone's OS, and Apple had a couple more years of near monopoly on media consumption, they could have dragged the rest of the entertainment industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century and gotten everyone cheaper and multi-device access to music, movies, TV shows, etc. Instead, we have to pretend that nothing has changed and everyone wants to go to theaters and listen to top 40 radio to get their fix. Thanks Google for making capitalism work against the consumer.


    So you do think ad-supported media consumption services are the best way to go rather than paid subscription?


     


    EDIT: Google's service is already "multi-device" accessible. Listen via your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It's available to any device that can access Google Play music. Pretty similar to Apple's offerings for the most part, excepting the new streaming features.

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