Apple's Pandora-like iRadio Service to Launch in 2013?

This is a discussion on Apple's Pandora-like iRadio Service to Launch in 2013? within the Apple Rumors forums, part of the Apple News category; BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield is predicting that Apple will debut its long-rumored Pandora-like iRadio service to complement iTunes at some point in 2013. Previously, there ...

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    Apple's Pandora-like iRadio Service to Launch in 2013?



    BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield is predicting that Apple will debut its long-rumored Pandora-like iRadio service to complement iTunes at some point in 2013. Previously, there were reports that Apple and the major music labels weren't close in negotiations, but Greenfield says they're still negotiating on song catalogs.

    "Consumer behavior (is) increasingly shifting toward access to a music catalog from ownership of specific songs. We expect iRadio to be incorporated into the iTunes iOS app with personalized radio functionality akin to Pandora, integrated with iTunes to purchase music and other music related content such as concert information/tickets/merchandise via Live Nation and Ticketmaster."

    Back in October, Bloomberg reported that Apple and music labels had re-entered intense negotiations and iRadio was set to debut in early 2013. CNET then reported in December that the sides were far apart because Apple's terms left them "cold."

    Apple SVP of Internet Services and Software is considered Apple's "master negotiator" for content deals, so any potential negotiations with music labels would likely go through him. Greenfield also predicts that Apple's long-rumored Apple TV wouldn't debut in 2013 because of content restrictions.

    1-3-13

    www.macrumors.com

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    Progress: Apple is pushing for an iRadio summertime launch



    Much has been written about Apple’s plan to launch a Pandora-esque service this year. Now multiple music industry insiders have told The Verge that significant progress has been made in the talks with two of the top labels: Universal and Warner. One of the sources said “iRadio is coming. There’s no doubt about it anymore.” Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch.

    Apple’s streaming radio project has been in the news for at least a year. We heard no shortage of rumors that Apple planned to take on the Pandoras and Spotifys of the world with its own ‘iRadio’ service, and Bloomberg predicted a Q1 2013 (current) launch. Then we heard there were some delays that appear to have pushed the release out to summer.

    Perhaps most damningly, we found pay radio buttons in the iPad’s music player app code earlier this year.

    Fred Wilson talked iTunes Radio coincidentally today too, saying:

    And the music industry really ought to want to see this happen because they are coming to realize that subscription music services can bring in significant revenues. This is an important future business model for them. But they should not make the mistake they made in the mp3 market where they essentially gave one company, Apple, the dominant position in the market. If the music industry came together, like the banks came together to create ATM roaming networks, to create a subscription music roaming network, they would create a dynamic where no one subscription music service could create the kind of network effects that would allow them to become the dominant subscription music service. And that is very much in the music industry’s interest.


    4-1-13

    9to5mac.com

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    If Apple includes iRadio in the iTunes app users with older iPads will not be able to use it since iTunes changes are made available when upgrading iOS.

    Nothing is said about the possibility of iRadio being geolocalized either... Spotify and Pandora are.
    Nor white, nor black. Just the passionate shades between...

    Yuno Wataï Minh

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    It is still new with hardly any info out there as of my writings.
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    Apple reportedly closing in on deal with record labels for 'iRadio' service



    A report on Thursday claims Apple is close to making a deal with two major record companies to stream their respective tracks on a purported "iRadio" music streamer, with the arrangement said to be more lucrative for the labels than existing rates paid out by Pandora.

    Citing people familiar with the negotiations, CNET reports that while Apple's supposed deal will offer cheaper per-stream rates equivalent to about half of what Internet radio giant Pandora pays, it will also includes additional sources of income for record labels.

    The sources say Apple plans to leverage the installed iTunes user base to drive further revenue for record companies participating in the "iRadio" initiative. One method employs an easy way for listeners to buy a song they hear on the music streaming service, which will in turn boost download sales. Another option is to cut labels in to a revenue sharing scheme of audio ads Apple is reportedly planning to launch with the service.

    While "iRadio" have circulated for months, sources claim Warner Music and Universal Music Group could ink a deal with Apple within the next week. The report is somewhat sketchy, however, as these same people warn that the arrangement is so tenuous that it might fall apart. Concerns are also being aired over the proposed added revenue model.

    "The only thing concrete in contract is the per-play rate," said one source. "If you end up having no ad revenue, that's still zero. And we won't know what the buying habits will be. Will people streaming still take the time to buy from iTunes?"

    Certain particulars are consistent with previous rumors, including a rollout goal of summertime at the latest. The sources also fleshed out the service a bit more, saying it won't offer on-demand listening, but will add features not supported by Pandora, like the ability to restart songs.

    It was reported in March that an "iRadio" launch was being held up by "cheap" royalty offers on the part of Apple. The company was said to be offering about 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, exactly half of what Pandora currently pays out. Record labels believe Apple should pay about 21 cents per 100 songs, or the set rate for companies that don't own broadcast operations, as established by the Copyright Royalty Board.


    4-5-13

    appleinsider.com

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    Apple rumored to ink iRadio deal with record label by next week



    The latest iRadio rumor has Apple and major record label Universal Music Group close to reaching an agreement over royalties for the purported streaming music service, with sources claiming news of a deal could come as early as next week.

    Citing people with knowledge of the talks, The Verge reports that Apple is expected to sign its first Internet music streaming license with Universal Music, while negotiations with Warner Music are also said to be nearing completion.

    Under the alleged deal, Apple is said to have given in to record labels' royalty demands and will offer rates on a par with music streaming giant Pandora. Per-track royalties has reportedly been a major stumbling block, with labels supposedly calling Apple's previous offers "cheap." The Cupertino company allegedly offered about 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, or half of what Pandora currently pays.

    The rumor comes a week after CNET cited its own sources as saying Apple was closing in on deals with both labels, and would sign within one week.

    Apple has long been rumored to be planning an Internet radio service, assumedly leveraging the installed iTunes and iOS device user base to fuel revenue from in-service purchases.

    To make an iRadio deal more enticing, some insiders believe Apple will institute a "freemium" pricing model. Under this scheme, Apple would use the platform to introduce listeners to new music, while implementing a simple "buy now" button make quick purchases. Another option would be to give labels a cut of revenue generated by audio ads.

    Little is known about the service itself, but sources claim it will be much like Pandora's, except with certain special features like an option to restart tracks.

    Earlier on Thursday, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note to investors that she believes Apple is readying some type of new internet service that could very well be the much rumored iRadio. The analyst expects the service to be unveiled at WWDC in June.


    4-12-13

    appleinsider.com

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    Why Apple Is Making iRadio: To Help Discover Music In iTunes



    Have you ever wondered: if Apple makes billions of dollars off of music downloads, why are they supposedly planning on launching their own music streaming service, iRadio, later this year? Wouldn’t such a service actually lead to less downloads?

    It’s a good question, and there’s a good answer.

    According to new data released today by the NPD Group, Apple is still the king of the hill when it comes to music downloads, commanding an enormous 63 percent of all digital tracks sold in Q4 2012, with Amazon a distant second at 22 percent.

    Here’s the rub, though. Services like Spotify and Rdio — where you pay a monthly fee for all-you-can-stream music from a library of millions of albums — are Apple’s major competition in this space these days. The question has now become whether or not you buy or rent your music, with only 38% of U.S. consumers thinking its important to own their own music.

    But here’s the rub. That percentage is even higher for users of Pandora, a service which Apple is rumored to base their own iRadio service upon. Why? Because Pandora — which gives you streaming radio stations based upon your tastes, but does not allow for a la carte streaming of anything in their library at any time — actually encourages music downloads through iTunes.

    Erica Ogg over at GigaOM has a very smart take on what this means:

    That’s why it’s smart for Apple to invest in iRadio. The goal is not to kill Pandora, but to actually bring that type of radio service to more users, and keep them from switching to a full-blown access model. In other words: It’s not about Pandora, and all about Spotify.

    Launching a decent iRadio service built into millions upon millions of devices, in other words, can only booster Apple’s stranglehold upon the music downloads business, even as the likes of Spotify and Rdio try to convince consumers to rent, not buy, their music for a monthly fee. iRadio is smart business sense.



    4-16-13

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    Hey! I'm all for it! I use Internet radio channels to ferret out new artist and buy their music but I often can't find it. An Apple radio channel would surely get me to listen and buy right there on the spot...
    Nor white, nor black. Just the passionate shades between...

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    iRadio stalled again as Apple, Sony can't agree to royalty terms



    Apple's ongoing efforts to bring a radio service to iPhone and iPad owners has apparently hit another snag, as negotiations with Sony have dragged on.

    Licensing fees are once again holding up the arrival of Apple's rumored radio service, according to the Financial Times. Apple reportedly has already secured a deal with Universal Music, as was rumored in April, and is close to an agreement with Warner Music. Sony Music — the second-largest of the major record labels — is reportedly holding out for more lucrative concessions.

    Some industry executives are said to believe that, due to Apple's massive financial reserves and the likelihood that it will make a considerable amount of money off the service, the company should pay out more money to the record labels for permission to stream their product.

    Reportedly, Apple initially lowballed the record labels with an offer of 6.5 cents per 100 tracks streamed, roughly half what Internet radio service Pandora pays. The labels rejected that offer, leading to the first reports that the service would be delayed. Apple subsequently offered 12.5 cents per 100 tracks streamed, and the number of labels that have accepted that offer is unclear.

    The debut of some sort of Apple-run music streaming service has been predicted since the arrival of iTunes some 10 years ago. Rumors picked up earlier this year when icons hidden inside iOS 6.1 showed "radio buy" buttons tucked into the update, indicating that a service was imminent.

    The stalled service, according to reports, features not only music streaming and buying, but also the ability to predict which songs users will enjoy based on what they've listened to before.

    Apple, reportedly, is offering the record labels a mix of compensation possibilities: a royalty per track streamed, a share of iRadio's advertising revenue, and a guaranteed minimum payment should the the previous two prove unsatisfactory.


    5-9-13

    appleinsider.com

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    Song skipping feature in Apple's 'iRadio' reportedly holding up Sony deal



    Adding to an earlier report regarding Apple's much rumored "iRadio" streaming music service, another potential stumbling block has been detailed regarding Sony's unwillingness to agree to "skip song" terms.

    Citing sources familiar with the ongoing negotiations, CNET reports Apple and the world's second-largest music label Sony are working to finalize terms pertaining to the supposed streaming service's song skipping feature.

    While it appears Sony is open to the idea of allowing users to skip over tracks, the two companies have yet to reach an agreement as to how much Apple should pay for the functionality. The publication notes iRadio's feature set closely resembles that of popular Internet radio option Pandora, including the ability to rewind songs and skip to the next selected track.

    The details come after a report published earlier on Friday outlined the many challenges Apple faces in attempting to get its music streaming service off the ground. While Universal Music Group is said to have already signed a contract with Apple, Sony and Warner are holding out for more.

    Meanwhile, Google announced its own Internet radio service on Wednesday. Dubbed "All Access," the search giant's solution is more akin to existing offerings from Spotify and Rdio than Pandora in that it has a premium subscription tier.

    Apple's iRadio is believed to be a hybrid of sorts, combining free music discovery with possibly for-pay on demand features, as well as the ability to purchase songs from iTunes. As with any music streamer, content owners are concerned about royalty rates, and Apple's supposedly low-ball initial offer likely set back proceedings, which in turn pushed back a quick. launch.


    5-18-13

    appleinsider.com

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