With Sony Deal Done, Apple To Reveal iRadio At WWDC Today
Apple and Sony Music have reportedly inked a deal, moving Cupertino’s anticipated iRadio service another step forward.
According to All Things Digital — which cited a person familiar with the companies’ negotiations — this means Apple now has the support of all three major music labels, including Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group.
With the record companies on board, Apple plans to announce an advertising-supported service that will compete with Pandora Media for listeners. iRadio will allow users to build custom stations based on an artist or genre that draws on music from the company’s iTunes library. Apple’s agreement with Sony Music was reported by AllThingsD. Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture of Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson, signed its agreement with Apple, CEO Marty Bandier said in an interview.
The majors publishers had looked like they were going to be the holdout because Apple initially offered to pay them a rate of 4.1% of its advertising revenue, while the publishers had been withdrawing digital rights from the U.S. performance rights organizations BMI and ASCAP because they wanted higher rates. BMG, Sony/ATV, UMPG and Warner/Chappell executives had privately said they were seeking rates of 10%-15% of iRadio’s advertising revenue. But when Apple agreed to a 10% rate, Warner/Chappell last week signed the deal and now so has Sony/ATV.
Google also recently stepped into the streaming Internet radio market with All Access , which launched in May. The search company’s subscription music service is expected to debut on iOS devices in the coming weeks.
Apple is expected to reveal iRadio at WWDC which begins today.