Apple will take its first big step toward launching its iRadio streaming service soon, as a deal with Universal Music Group is reportedly imminent. According to sources speaking with The Verge, the deal could be finalized as early as next week, with final-stage negotiations with Warner Music also ongoing.
Rumors surrounding Apple’s alleged Pandora-like service have gained steam over the past few months, with many reports claiming deals were still being hashed out. One report claimed Apple was being particularly frugal with its terms, but it appears agreeable deals have been reached. Maybe. As far as we know all the deals are already in place, and Apple is just waiting to announce such a service.
The Verge’s source says Apple is also still talking with Sony, but things aren’t quite as far along as the iPhone maker would like. One would expect that once Apple does secure signatures with Universal and Warner, a deal with Sony would soon follow. None of the three music labels had comments for The Verge’s report.
Once/if the service does go live, iRadio is expected to tap into Apple’s deep iTunes library, and become a helpful music discovery platform. Of course, the platform could also potentially boost music sales, which have recently seen an uptick thanks to streaming services. Right now, Pandora and Spotify are two of the industry’s biggest players, so Apple will be stepping foot into a competitive arena. WWDC is just around the corner, so we’ll likely find out soon enough.