Licensing Fees May be Stalling Apple's Streaming Music Service

Apple has apparently signed up Universal Music for its rumored online music streaming service, and is close to wrapping up negotiations with Warner Music, but can't move forward because it hasn't been able to reach an agreement with Sony Music over royalty payments.

Sony stalls Apple's rumored streaming music serviceSony stalls Apple's rumored streaming music service

Rumors that Apple was close to getting Universal on board surfaced in April with reports following that the iPhone and iPad maker was close the deal when it finally agreed to royalty rates that are double what it originally wanted at US$0.125 per 100 tracks instead of $0.06.

Apple has apparently offered the labels a per-track royalty, a share in advertising revenue, and a guaranteed minimum payment over the course of the contract should streaming traffic fail to meet expected goals, according to the Financial Times. Those terms, however, apparently aren't good enough for Sony Music.

All of the companies involved are keeping quiet, so there isn't any word on exactly what it'll take for Sony to agree to a deal -- and there isn't any official word on whether or not Apple actually is working on its own streaming music service. With the popualrity of services like Pandora and Spotify, however, it seems likely that Apple is working to expand its music offerings into the subscription market.