Posted 06/03/2013 at 9:31 AM
Posted 4 years ago
They are certainly cutting it fine, but Apple’s long-awaited (and much delayed) iRadio is expected to debut at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
We previously reported on Apple’s struggle to come to an agreement with major record labels, and as of last week only Universal has signed a rights agreement. Things have now progressed somewhat, though, as CNET sources have revealed that a deal has been finalized with Warner Music Group; that just leaves Sony, and its publishing arm Sony/ATV, who continue to hold out for more revenue per streamed song.
It is thought that iRadio will launch with or without Sony, but lacking a whole catalogue of music from the world’s second largest record label is definitely not ideal. Apple will presumably have to make promises that a deal can be agreed in order to generate interest in the service and tempt users away from the likes of Spotify, Pandora, and the recently-launched Google Play Music All Access.
iRadio is expected to operate in much the same way as its rivals, with one key added ingredient: the ability to play and skip songs as much as you like. Pandora, the most popular service on its kind on iOS with more than 70 million active listeners, limits how many times a song can be played or skipped – a restriction that all fans would like to see removed.
Having just announced that All Access will be made available on iOS, Google will secretly be hoping Apple’s negotiations with Sony drag on for a while longer so that they can attract a strong user base. However, with such a large audience of iTunes users at its disposal, iOS users will not take much persuading to join an Apple streaming service and, when it finally does launch, iRadio will most likely become the dominant iOS app of its kind – providing it has the music, that is.