Apple is reportedly pushing to wrap up deals with music labels for a streaming music service launch announcement at its annual World Wide Developer Conference next week in San Francisco. Rumors that Apple signed a deal with Universal Music surfaced last month, and now reports are claiming Sony Music is on board, too.
Apple is reportedly pushing to introduce iRadio next week at WWDC
Apple's streaming music service, unofficially called iRadio, will compete with Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Google's new Google Play Music All Access. iRadio will support the Mac, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, which means users can listen at their desk, in the living room, and on the go, and will include an easy way to buy the currently playing song through the iTunes Store.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Warner Music now have a deal in place that gives labels 10 percent of iRadio's ad revenue -- which is more that double what Pandora pays record labels. With Universal and Warner on board, Sony looks to be the big holdup since the record label hasn't been happy with Apple's plans for handling songs listeners skip. With news of the deal Warner has apparently signed, however, Sony may be more willing to get on board.
Sources speaking with the New York Times said Apple is eager to wrap up more music deals in time for an announcement during the WWDC keynote on June 10. The event focuses OS X and iOS developers, which makes a consumer-based streaming music service announcement seem out of place. That said, Apple may be planning on using the high-profile nature of its keynote presentation to make a big public announcement.
Apple and the music labels aren't commenting on whether or not a streaming music service really is coming, so for now iRadio has to stay in the rumor camp. With the amount of information that is leaking through sources such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, however, it's feeling like iRadio is coming soon.