Apple once again rumored to be readying an iRadio subscription music service

Is Apple gearing for a summer launch for an iRadio service?

Once again, just like clockwork, rumors are swirling around an alleged Apple "iRadio" subscription music service, similar to the likes of Pandora and Spotify. These rumors always seem to crop up right before an expected announcement period from Apple -- like spring, summer, or fall, and then disappear when music executives leak that they haven't come to terms on licensing agreements. Which brings us to the latest incarnation, according to the Verge:

Much has been written about Apple's plan to launch a Pandora-esque service this year. Now multiple music industry insiders have told The Verge that significant progress has been made in the talks with two of the top labels: Universal and Warner. One of the sources said "iRadio is coming. There's no doubt about it anymore." Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch.

Streaming radio services have long been struggling to make a profit and manage revenue streams. According to the sources inside the industry, Apple is in talks with Warner and Universal on streaming agreements:

When and if iRadio happens, it'll be interesting to see how Apple implements it and how pricing would work. It probably isn't likely that record labels would negotiate free deals unless they're advertisement based, which Apple may not be a fan of. How much would you pay to have native streaming on your iOS devices and Apple TV? And how much content would Apple have to have to make you switch from your current streaming service?

Source: The Verge

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Apple once again rumored to be readying an iRadio subscription music service


I honestly don't even use a streaming service. I don't know why Apple would want to enter that market. It doesn't make much since. Apple is a hardware/software company not a service company. I don't think they should allocate any resources to this. I don't believe this will happen and I hope they don't do it. It is more cost efficient in my opinion to just buy the songs you like and then play right from your device and it doesn't require data to do it.

Apple is not a service company? Are you for real? Of course they are.

I use my purchased songs and Spotify on my Apple devices and would welcome the use of a "pay for subscription" service similar to Spotify. Much like Apple develops products consumers didn't know they would like or needed, the same happens with music. With a paid subscription, fans can listen to favorite songs and discover songs from an album they never heard before but end up liking - like back in the old days.

I would prefer a bundle/package that includes additional iCloud storage (50GB), MusicMatch and something like Spotify. I think Apple can, should, and maybe likely provide something like this. At least that's what I was expecting when they purchased Lala and built that data center in North Carolina. For a package like that I would pay $15/month.

I would have to have all albums like spotify not that pandora stuff! I like to still listen to exactly what I want to! And I will pay apple the same price as spotify because all my electronics are APPLE

I would have to have all albums like spotify not that pandora stuff! I like to still listen to exactly what I want to! And I will pay apple the same price as spotify because all my electronics are APPLE

I bet it starts slowly - won't be a patch on Spotify. Then it will get better but not before the bad publicity. This is the Apple way it seems - remember Siri and Maps?!

This should be interesting. If they can offer full albums and different playlist this will make it appealing to me. I look forward to seeing what they release.

I haven't used streaming services too much lately but a service with a catalog that is as good as iTunes and can provide good music instead of seemingly random "stations" would be interesting.

I think with Apple's dedication to user interface it will hopefully be as simple and benefit users at least as much as the companies. This is assuming Apple can get services right which is an uphill battle for them so far

I don't see the point. Just buy iTunes Match and you have streaming. I get it only gives you access to your music but buying songs is cheap and then you own the songs.

What they are trying to do is expand their ecosystem, BrianTufo. I guarantee you, their iRadio will have iTunes links all over it in order to get people to buy their favorite tracks. While this is possible on Pandora and other third-party applications, I'm sure they take a cut away from Apple's earnings. This is a smart move on their part; however, their timing leaves a lot to be desired. It would have happened a lot sooner if they weren't so damn cheap, like always.

I wonder how much they will charge. I personally never would pay with all of the free options, and there are already successful pay services out there.

Interesting. I like services like Pandora to discover music, but I'd rather own it than pay a subscription fee each month.

I hope not. God forbid Apple to make something with even more limitations than Pandora!

I'm not holding my breath! I would have liked not having to put my entire iTunes library on Amazon but Apple only supports 25,000 songs, but the good news is that my new HTC One will have access to the 100,000 plus library in the cloud. You know Apple missed the boat with their cloud service because I use Dropbox and Box. Dropbox does such a great job with my pictures on my iPhone. Apple should give a 2 year free iCloud backup for what ever size iPhone you purchase. That would be great peace of mind and a competitive selling point. But I'm sure Apple is waiting to see what Samsung does. Apples new motto should be, "We don't lead anymore, because we don't have to!"

This could help to bolster music sales for Apple. Have "free" streaming service that will play music like a radio station based on genre or station. With a monthly subscription, people could set up their own playlists from the vast library of music that Apple has available. The free service would probably help to drive sales of music where as the paid service is well... paid. It would be even cooler if Apple worked out deals with the various cell networks where streaming of music through this service for paid subscription users... didn't count towards your cell phone data cap. I doubt that would happen but it would be something that would make me consider it. With the very restrictive data caps here in Canada, streaming through cell phones for most users would be unrealistic.

This.this isnt surprising lol. APPLE products, they keep releasing new versions . Releasing new versions doesnt really mean releasing new new phone. And also for their new OS. Releasing new OS that fixes bugs, they add new features so that people will have to update os or buy new phones. Just like the difference between having Siri or not, or the difference between the body of iphone 4 and 5. They keep changing/adding features to make business good.this is how they work. But still thankful for them engineering really good devices that keeps us updated with the apps like imore. news given in the right time.

I'm still of the mind that the best services for music, books, video, and any other content are those that are platform agnostic. I do not want to be tethered to a particular hardware vendor for "life". That's why companies like Rhapsody and Amazon will get my money long before Apple or Google. I may change my mind when content is transferable between providers but until then the native content ecosystem holds very little value for me.