Rumour : Apple Nearing iRadio Deal With Universal Music
The Verge reports that Apple may be close to signing a deal with Universal Music, the largest of the major record companies, that would advance the “iRadio” cause. The report also notes that a deal with Warner Music may follow.
Apple is expected to sign its first internet radio licensing agreement with a major record label perhaps as soon as next week, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks have told The Verge. Universal Music Group, the largest of the major record companies, has reached the final stages of the negotiations and Warner Music is close behind, the sources said.
Earlier reports noted that Apple had aggressive plans to launch their said radio service this summer. It was reported earlier by the New York Post Apple had tried to negotiate lower prices to stream songs, at a rate which undercut Pandora at $0.06 per 100 songs, which record labels had rejected.
While this is a step in the right direction, the report also notes that Apple’s “iRadio” still has some significant hurdles left to jump, such as reaching a deal with Sony Music Entertainment and various music publishers. Those arrangements are reportedly not as close to being reached as the Warner and Universal deals.
Streaming music is the only place that Apple has no foot-hold, with Spotify and Pandora taking the lead. Pandora reportedly has over 200 million users, while Spotify claims 20 million total users, 5 million of which pay.
Provided that Apple does strike deals with all the necessary publishers and labels, we will likely see this new streaming service later this year, with some rumours pointing to WWDC as the big unveiling.