Citing an unnamed person familiar with negotiations between Apple and Sony, Peter Kafka of AllThingsD, recently reported that Apple has reached a deal with the significant music label Sony for its long-rumored streaming music service, which is rumored to resemble Pandora and offer free, ad-supported listening to iOS users. Therefore, it is likely that Apple will unveil its free Internet radio service at next week’s WWDC event as it has now reached deals with all three main music labels.
In accordance with the rumors, Apple has been negotiating aggressively with labels in order to get them on board with this service. The rumors also said that although Apple previously completed iRadio agreements with major labels Universal Music Group and Warner Music, as well as music publisher Warner/Chappell, the negotiations with Sony had hit a brick wall in the past, but because Apple wanted to be able to announce the new service at WWDC on Monday, the sudden renewal in talks appeared.
The reason why Sony was refusing to sign a deal with apple seemed to be related with the song skipping features integrated into the service, Sony being in disagreement with how much Apple is willing to pay record label partners for songs that listeners sample for a few seconds.
Although Apple is predicted to present its new service at WWDC, the company is not expected to actually launch iRadio at this event. However, launched or just presented at the WWDC, the music labels appear to see big possibilities with the tied to iTunes service, which would be made for mobile devices.
In addition, iRadio could present a significant challenge to third-party rivals, not only for the greatness of the product, but also because Apple is believed to price the subscription fee aggressively.
Even though, as stated above, iRadio is probably going to be similar to Pandora, it will contain some features which are not available on Pandora, such as the ability to rewind a song from the middle of it. In addition, the forthcoming service would have a simple button that would allow users to easily purchase a song.