We’ve been talking about the iRadio for months but in case you missed it, this rumored music streaming service would be Apple’s answer to Pandora and Spotify. With the enormous customer base of iTunes built right in and Apple’s experience when it comes to online music, it would seem like iRadio couldn’t fail. Of course, all that is assuming that the service actually launches. Unfortunately, that is far from a certainty.
According to the Financial Times, Apple has struck a deal with Universal Music and is pretty close to doing the same with Warner Music. Great news, right? Sure. But it seems like Sony is set on ruining the fun. Reportedly Sony Music (the second-largest major record label) is refusing to move forward with negotiations, holding out for a better deal.
Early reports indicate that Apple initially offered record labels a pretty low fee - 6.5 cents per 100 tracks streamed, which is about half of what Pandora pays. Unsurprisingly, the labels rejected that offer, but Apple came back with an offer of 12.5 cents per 100 tracks streamed, which seemed to fare a bit better. However, it would appear that Sony Music still isn’t taking the bait, even with the mix of compensation possibilities which include a track royalty, a share of iRadio’s advertising revenue, and even a guaranteed minimum payment which serves as an insurance policy should the other two compensatory methods prove inadequate.
This is definitely a bummer. An Apple iRadio service would be a great addition to the iTunes+iOS ecosystem. Let’s hope the corporate big wigs can sort out the logistics ASAP.