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?