Apple to Launch Free iRadio at WWDC Next Week

Apple to Sell Audio Ads to Support iRadio

by Anton Shilov
06/07/2013 | 06:15 PM

Apple, one of the world’s largest consumer electronics companies in the world, is expected to unveil its new iRadio service next week, according to a media report. The new service will stream music from all three major music publishers and will be funded by audio ads. The iRadio will be free for the users, but it is currently unknown where exactly it will be available.

 

Apple, the world’s largest reseller of music, needs to enter the market of streaming music, which is growing these days thanks to companies like Pandora Music and DI.fm. The music service, which is currently known as iRadio, is expected to resemble Pandora in its monetization strategy: it will feature audio and banner ads sold through Apple's iAd mobile network, according to Reuters news-agency which cites its sources familiar with the market.

The company best-known for its iPhone smartphones as well as iPad and iPod gadgets, has managed to sign deals with all three major labels: Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group as well as Sony. Apple will reportedly pay the labels a per-stream rate, which is about 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. As a result, Apple may create the biggest set of digital radio stations on the planet, which might challenge not only Pandora and DI.fm, but also major FM entertainment radio stations.

Given the fact that Apple’s iRadio will rely on always on Internet connection, the launch of the service will in many ways mean the demise of the iPod digital media player, which does not have support of wireless Internet everywhere (iPod nano, iPod shuffle and iPod classic do not support even Wi-Fi). Still, iRadio will likely be available on all “connected” Apple products. It is unclear whether the service will be accessible from Microsoft Windows-based PCs, but it is a likely scenario, given the fact that Apple needs to sell ads.

Apple is now expected to unveil its iRadio service at the WWDC conference next week.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.