Has Apple Found the Last Missing Piece for iRadio?
Will this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference host the debut of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) long-awaited music streaming service? The chances of seeing an iRadio unveiling at this year’s WWDC just got a little better after Apple was able to sign on Sony (NYSE:SNE) Music for the rumored music streaming service.
Sony Music was the last major music label that was holding out in negotiations with Apple over royalty payments and other fees. The first major music label that Apple was able to sign up was Universal Music, which is also the largest of the major record labels. Apple inked a deal with Universal Music in April and it was hoped that this breakthrough deal might lead to the other labels following suit.
Apple was finally able to agree to a deal with Warner Music last weekend. However, one significant holdout that remains is Sony/ATV, the music publishing company owned jointly by Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson.
Now that Apple has Sony Music on board, it has achieved deals with all three major record labels for its iRadio service. Apple’s proposed music streaming service is rumored to combine elements of Pandora’s (NYSE:P) ad-based service along with some Spotify-like on-demand features. It will likely work in combination with Apple’s paid iTunes download business by allowing users to purchase songs through iTunes that they hear on iRadio.