It’s been long rumoured that Apple has been working on a music streaming service, and now CNET reports that the company is close to striking a deal with two of the major record labels to make it happen. Both Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group are said to be in talks with Apple, with the Cupertino-based company said to be aiming for a summer launch for the streaming service. Apple would still need to bring aboard Sony Music Group, however, along with music publishers.
CNET goes on to say that Apple is planning to make its streaming solution available in the US to begin with, but the company is also hoping to quickly roll out the service in international territories such as the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan. Apple hasn’t settled on a name for the streaming service yet, but it will reportedly be made available for free and offered within iTunes.
The functionality will be closest to Pandora out of all the music streaming services, though. CNET suggests that users wouldn’t be able to listen to their favorite songs on-demand as they would with Spotify. Apple’s revenue share with the music labels will also be slightly unusual: the labels will reportedly receive half of what they see from Pandora on a per-stream basis, but Apple will offer a share of the revenue from adverts that it will insert into the streams. There’s also the potential benefit of boosting exisiting download sales from iTunes.
The music streaming space is starting to look pretty crowded, but Apple does have the advantage of being able to tie any new service directly into iTunes on the desktop and across all its mobile products. Add the huge number of iOS users on top of that, and it’s not hard to see why Apple and the music labels are eager to launch the new service.
[via The Next Web]