Apple reportedly is close to sign deals with major music labels, which will greatly ease its negotiations with the others. Theoretically, may result in creation of the biggest set of digital radio stations on the planet, which might challenge not only Pandora and DI.fm, but also major analogue entertainment radio stations.
Apple could sign deals with both Warner Music and Universal Music Group within the next week, according to Cnet News.com. Apple will reportedly pay the labels a per-stream rate that's half of what Pandora pays. The service is expected to offer premium quality audio as well as opportunity to buy tracks that are heard at the moment.
Apple has reportedly informed labels it's determined to get all its deals signed in time for a summer rollout. Apple reportedly wants to unveil the service in the U.S, U.K, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan.
Traditionally Apple has launched major improvements for its iOS platforms along with the launch of new iPhones. It will be a major surprise to see Apple launching iRadio without a new iPhone in mid-2013, just in time when loads of iPhone 4 owners will want to upgrade.
To some degree, the content owners are taking a gamble on Apple. Label executives are assured that any Apple iRadio service will gain traction, given Apple's dominance with iTunes, it is reported. Besides, it is believed that the major content owners are guaranteed to make a slice of every stream that is played, albeit a fraction of what the labels get from Pandora.
Apple did not comment on the news-story.