Rumors are circulating that Apple is making an eleventh hour push to complete deals with record labels to launch its own streaming music service at WWDC next week.
According to sources speaking with The New York Times, Apple is closing in on finishing the deals it needs to have in place to announce its rumored iRadio streaming service next week. Last month we heard that Apple was running into disputes with the record labels over song skipping, but the latest report says that will that point of contention is still in play, it’s more about the royalty payments at this point.
Things may be looking up for Apple, however, as these unnamed sources claim that Apple and Warner Music Group signed a deal this weekend, and had already secured a deal with Universal Music Group. Of the three big labels, apparently Sony/ATV is the last hold out from the deal being completed. You might think that one label missing would be a big deal, but seeing as Sony reps acts such as Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, it would leave a rather large hole in the music lineup.
Should iRadio become a reality, Apple would become the latest service to enter the increasingly crowded music streaming marketplace. Pandora and Spotify already have loyal legions of fans, and Google launched its own competitor last month at its Google I/O conference. One has to wonder why Apple would want to be so late to this party, but with tight integration with its iTunes Music Store, the potential sales are just too enticing not to make a run at it.
WWDC kicks off on Monday, June 10, so if the deals can be finalized in time, we won’t have long to wait to hear all of the details.