Apple's rumored iRadio service rumored to be on the verge of signing Universal, Warner

Apple's rumored iRadio service rumored to be on the verge of signing Universal, Warner

iRadio, the common vernacular for Apple's long rumored streaming-and-maybe-subscription music service, is once again in the headlines this week, this time thanks to a report claiming music giants Universal and Warner are close to signing on. Greg Sandoval of The Verge writes:

Apple is expected to sign its first internet radio licensing agreement with a major record label perhaps as soon as next week, multiple sources with knowledge of the talks have told The Verge. Universal Music Group, the largest of the major record companies, has reached the final stages of the negotiations and Warner Music is close behind, the sources said.

Sony, they say, isn't as far along yet. While iRadio rumors seem to popup before every Apple event, real or imagined, the quantity and quality of recent rumors might suggest the long-in-the-works service could finally be getting closer to reality. It sounds like Apple's struggle to get pricing down hasn't gone the way they hoped, so it could be that money will be the deciding factor.

More interesting to me than the question of will Apple ever launch iRadio is how Apple would launch an iRadio-type service. They already have the iTunes Match music locker service, which stores all your local music in the cloud then streams-as-it-re-downloads it to up to 10 of your devices. Would iRadio compliment that with a traditional radio-style playlist approach, like Pandora, a more flexible a la carte streaming service, or something else entirely?

What would you want from iRadio, and if it's part of iOS 7, how great a new feature would that be for you?

Source: The Verge; image album art from airplanemo.de

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple's rumored iRadio service rumored to be on the verge of signing Universal, Warner

9 Comments

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this would be pure genius. Could you imagine the musical library that Apple could have on an iRadio service?
Basically add all of your tapes and CDs, your parents vinyls, those mixed tapes from your girlfriend, the songs that you bootlegged off of Napster back in the day and then throw in all that is iTunes.
Will just have to wait and find out for sure!

I'm getting excited. What would be great if it offers something different than the other service like free without ads.

I can see this complimenting iTunes Match. A free service, with ads. Subscribe to iTunes Match? Ad free with the ability to have offline saving (as long as you continue to subscribe) a la Spotify. I love iTunes Match, and would gladly pay double to have access to any song I want.
I realize this is likely not going to be the model, though. I fully expect iRadio to be free and not require iTunes Match. Apple's biggest selling point will be how seamless they will be able to make click to buy be. Unlike every single other radio service out there.
It would also cause me to delete iHeart Radio and Spotify from my iPhone, and Spotify from my iMac.

Oh, and may be completely unrelated, but recently I noticed that when you delete a song from iTunes, and have iTunes Match, it changed the wording on the check box from "Delete from iCloud" to "Hide from iCloud". Could this be due to iRadio? Where you aren't really deleting anything?

I'm really hoping that iradio will better than pandora, and hopefully you don't have to pay to listen for music, i mean, i hope they can have at least free radio station like pandora, also it will be cool if you cam stream your music from itunes to your iphone

I don't understand why Apple needs to do this. I don't get how you would make money with this service. I think that Apple can do it better than the other alternatives out there. I have used Pandora some but never really caught on with me. I always try everything to stay under my 2 GB data and have always been concerned with how much data a streaming would suck up. It will be interesting to see what comes of this and how it will be used and honestly I will try it since it will most likely interstate I to iTunes.

I don't understand why Apple needs to do this. I don't get how you would make money with this service. I think that Apple can do it better than the other alternatives out there. I have used Pandora some but never really caught on with me. I always try everything to stay under my 2 GB data and have always been concerned with how much data a streaming would suck up. It will be interesting to see what comes of this and how it will be used and honestly I will try it since it will most likely interstate I to iTunes.

It's interesting that Apple submitted to the demands of the labels. I'm not sure Jobs would have done that but who knows, perhaps the labels are embolden these days.