Sony Finally Signs with Apple for Streaming ‘iRadio’

| Analysis

iTunes Streaming RadioSony Music has finally signed on with Apple for the company's upcoming streaming music service the media has dubbed "iRadio." Sony joins Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group in licensing content to Apple for the service, but Apple still needs to ink deals with Sony/ATV, Sony's publishing arm.

Sony was the last holdout as the company's leadership got hung up on some of the finer details in the deal. According to reports Sony wanted to be paid for songs that users skipped. This may stem from Sony CEO Doug Morris's delusions that Apple somehow ripped the labels off by saving their bacon when Apple launched the iTunes Store.

At that time, Mr. Morris was in charge of Universal. In 2007, he infamously made the statement that, "We got rolled like a bunch of puppies [by Steve Jobs]." His beef is that the labels gave up control to Apple, and that beef appears to be rooted in the mistaken belief that he and the other labels have at some point wielded that control well.

Be that as it may, Apple and Sony have apparently worked out their differences. AllThingsD reported Friday that the two companies signed off late on Thursday. Aside from the publishing-related rights that must also be secured, Apple is effectively clear to announce the service on Monday, June 10th, during the company's World Wide Development Conference (WWDC) keynote, though it may not launch right away.

As noted above, Apple's streaming service has been dubbed "iRadio." The service is expected to offer streaming music in similar fashion to Pandora, with users being able to customize radio stations based on the music they like.

Apple will be building in direct hooks to iTunes so that users can buy the songs they hear. In addition, Apple will be selling audio ads through its iAd advertising arm. The record labels will reportedly get a cut of advertising revenues as part of the deal.

Bloomberg reported that senior vice president Eddy Cue has been "retooling" iAd to sell these ads, making it an important component of the streaming radio service.

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Scott B in DC

This should have read: “Sony really figured out which side of its bread was buttered and decided that after making so much money by dealing with Apple and limiting the pirating of music, Sony CEO Doug Morris signed with Apple before Apple made their announcement at WWDC. Morris, a refugee from Universal, knows that if Sony is left in the dust while others are reaping profits from this deal, his board will not be happy with him for leaving easy money on the table. In the end, it’s all about money as Morris was seen grabbing his ankles as he was going into a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.”

Sony had no choice. It was either sign or be ridiculed to the point the Sony Board of Directors would have had to step in and warn Morris to get his head out of his tuches and not to pass up a clear money making opportunity.

Bryan Chaffin

And I thought I was being a snarky jerk in my write up. I like the way you think, Scott. smile

Tomas Gallucci

I like the radio image that accompanies this article, but I think it would be even cooler if you faded the iTunes logo to match and make said logo look like it was counter-sunk, perhaps with a glass bubble over the logo.

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