Rumors of a free streaming service may finally be coming to fruition.
Watch out Pandora, the launch of the much-rumored Apple music streaming service, dubbed iRadio by the press, could be imminent, with CNET reporting that the company is finalizing deals with record labels for a potential summer roll-out.
Apple is currently in talks with Universal Music Group and Warner Music, and while the details have yet to be officially released, CNET sources say that the negotiations include a per-stream rate that could be half as much as Pandora’s. While record labels were initially resistant to a lower stream rate, Apple is reportedly offering other revenue options that include a cut in the radio ads.
iRadio will be available through iTunes on iOS devices, the Apple TV, and on desktops making music streaming a seamless experience for Apple product owners. CNET confirms that the service will be linked to iTunes, so that listeners can easily purchase a song from the store after or even during streaming. The question remains whether people will actually take advantage of this aspect of the service – or whether it will fail, much like Spotify’s attempts at getting users to purchase songs. There doesn’t seem to be much incentive to purchase music you can stream for free, but when access is as easy as the push of a button, many a tune could be impulsively bought.
With no official due date, pundits are gambling that Apple will announce iRadio at its upcoming Worldwide Development Conference in June. When it does launch, the service will be reportedly available in over a dozen countries including the U.K, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan.
Image via Apple Scene