Apple’s iRadio Music Service Stalled by Negotiations

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Posted 3 years ago

Apple’s iRadio Music Service Stalled by NegotiationsLate last year, rumors began surfacing of Apple’s desire to create a Pandora-like online radio music service. Those rumors were strengthened in January of this year, when it was reported that Cupertino was in negotiations with Universal and Warner, and a summer 2013 date was predicted for the launch of ‘iRadio.’ With CNET and others reporting in April that a deal with the two major record labels was close to being sealed, it seemed that we wouldn’t have to wait much longer for the service, with only Sony needed to complete the trifecta. However, according to a new report by The Financial Times, a deal that seemed so close has now stalled, with both Sony and Warner still to agree terms.

The FT says that Sony in particular is holding out on the deal until Apple offers to pay more than Pandora does, the Japanese company’s reasoning being that Apple has “broader ambitions for iRadio.”

Apparently, Apple’s most recent offer is 12.5 cents for every 100 tracks, which is more than double the company’s original offer, and matching of Pandora’s rate. Record labels are also said to be receiving a share of ad revenue and a guaranteed minimum sum, presumably to safeguard against iRadio bombing.

According to CNET, citing sources familiar with the situation, Universal has agreed to these terms, but without the other labels on board, any intended service launch at WWDC 2013 may have to be put on the back burner.

iRadio, which will be available on mobile devices, is said to include unique features such as the ability to rewind songs and an easy purchase button that set it apart from Pandora; however, Pandora has the record labels in tow, and that is greater than any feature.

– Anthony Carter

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