Ahead of Apple’s WWDC event in June, the company is again running into obstacles with its iRadio service. According to the Financial Times, music labels are still reluctant to sign on with Apple despite the Cupertino company recently signing a deal with Universal, which is the largest label in the industry. Sony Music and Warner Music have still yet to reach an agreement, though negotiations are reportedly close.
Once the service does launch—Apple’s goal is this summer—the service will allow users to seamlessly purchase songs through the iTunes store. Beyond that, iRadio’s Pandora-like abilities will extract data from “hundreds of millions of iTunes users to predict the selection of track they will enjoy,” Financial Times said.
Apple has allegedly proposed three different revenue generating methods surrounding iRado, including a royalty percentage for each track streamed, share of ad revenue and a guaranteed sum through pre-signed contract. A previous report suggested Apple had proposed a lowball offer, but the Financial Times claims the iPhone maker has agreed to 12.5 cents per 100 track streams. If Universal is onboard, it seems likely other labels will sign on in due time.
Apple has an enormous user base as it is, so there’s definite potential for a lot of plays and increased revenue through iTunes. Streaming services, from video to music, have had positive impacts on the market, leading to decreased piracy where available. But the longer Apple sits on the sidelines while services such as Pandora and Spotify gain larger followings, the less chance iRadio has of being a success.
If iRadio does indeed hit this summer, we could hear about the service as early as WWDC, which begins June 10.