Apple close to deals on Pandora-like streaming service, hoping for summer launch

Apple close to deals on Pandora-like streaming service, hoping for summer launch

Apple may soon strike deals with two of the major record labels that would allow them to launch a Pandora-like radio service by this summer. While Apple seems to have made a deal that has them paying the labels less on a per-stream basis than Pandora, Apple’s deal also includes new ways of generating revenue, according to Paul Sloan of CNET.

That includes a quick way for consumers to buy a song they hear, potentially boosting download sales from iTunes, as well as a revenue share of new audio ads Apple is planning to add to the free service, according to sources.

Warner Music and Universal Music Group are apparently very close to agreements with Apple, though the music publishers and Sony Music Group still need to sign up. Apple wants to have all deals in place for a launch this summer, which may coincide with an announcement at WWDC in June, or even the supposed August launch of the iPhone 5s.

Would you use a Pandora-like service from Apple? Do you still purchase music through iTunes, or have you switched to something else, like Spotify or Rdio? Let us know below in the comments.

Source: CNET

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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There are 39 comments. Add yours.

asuperstarr says:

I would use the service. I'm sure they are going to offer something compelling that makes them different than Pandora and Spotify.

kralnor says:

What makes you think so?

extol4000 says:

I use spotify. I pay $10 a month

vianar says:

Can be a new revenue stream for apple with the subscription income. However people who use this function will not see anything new since third party app allow iTunes purchase. Apple wants to control the content and maybe an advantage will be integration with music match and access to iTunes exclusive content for listeners.

zz1anderzz says:

Am I the only one who sees the now "s" that is to be the iPhone 5"S" ? maybe the "S" means song or Streaming Service...

just a thought...

anthonyjpv says:

wrong topic. someone else had a similar comment about iphone 5s and something impacting them. they thought they were mentioning the iphone 5s as its official name, but it was meant to be plural, in referral to them.

But i still disagree, S has nothing to do with streaming or service or song.

CylonJason says:

Unlikely the streaming service would be exclusive to the 5S though.

Team George says:

Have tried Rdio and am currently with Spotify. It's worth £10 per month as it is very good. Offline playlists are the best thing - if Apple can bring this feature then it's game over. I have a feeling they won't.

stuhFAN says:

+1. Rdio's offline listening feature is killer. I've been using the service for about a month now, and I feel it's worth the $14.99/mo CAD. Apple's service will have to have a seriously killer feature for me to switch.

MacIntense says:

I haven't used Spotify but have used Pandora a little recently. I am sure that Apple will do it better than anyone else and with iTunes and iOS it will dominate.

kralnor says:

Spotify and Pandora are very different. Again, what makes everyone so sure apple with do a streaming service better than these other companies who have been at it for years? How did that maps thing go for them.

G.4 says:

I ditched Pandora for Spotify a few months ago and haven't looked back. Apple will have to provide some kind of big advantage to switching to their service to get me to stop using Spotify.

shinuyuki says:

Same. I ditched Pandora when I hit my first 40 hour month limit and have been using Spotify since then. I was able to get infinite trial periods (resetting every 2 days), but I've lost the ability to do so due to selling one of my devices. Shame. Can't wait for Apple to bring this home for us.

deuce300 says:

Pandora and free. Incredible in car integration especially with aftermarket Pioneer radios these days. OEM car manufacturers are even adopting Pandora lately on their car headunits. Until integration from other services happen I will wait.

shinuyuki says:

If you jailbreak, you can get paid version of pandora free. Basically, it gives u unlimited skips, no adds on free version. It's nice.

R1cki97 says:

Spotify is a really nice radio, i have to say, but i really want to see radio from apple, i'm pretty sure it will great hopefully, but let see what apple have for us

ernbrdn says:

I wouldn't hold my breath for Apple radio being great, at least initially. Look at the latest offering they have given us. Podcasts app, absolutely terrible, took almost an entire year to make the darn thing usable. Oh maps too... don't forget the maps....

PassOutPete says:

All in all, an Apple radio service could truly be a perfect experience. iTunes alone has the proverbial lock on the music industry. Simply couple Apples vast iTunes library with a radio service and you have gold. Only time will truly tell.

kralnor says:

The vast library belongs to the record labels, not apple. And it's basically the same library all the other services have access to. Still not sure what till make this service any different or better. Using the past as a guide, Apple's service will be more expensive and more limited than the competition but will still get millions more subscribers.

anthonyjpv says:

podcast app is fine.....

I hope it's got a competitive price point. I know liscensed music is expensive and all. But 10$+ for music, every month? That the price of an ipod mini, per year.

Speaking of which, wouldn't it be BRILLIANT if they sold iphones with subscriptions for 3-6 months. Get people hooked, while giving credit to a service that may really interest some. 16gb iphones already outsell everything else, they may as well make it a larger number. having streamed radio WILL decrease usage space.
I wonder how our data plans will respond..

anthonyjpv says:

also, a minimum subscription period will turn most people off. It should be month-to-month. Otherwise, no one will want to commit.

CylonJason says:

I'm in Canada so can't use Spotify or Pandora, but can you selectively listen to whatever albums and songs you want, or just a genera like other streaming radio apps? Because unless you can choose exactly what you want, personally I wouldn't be interested. If it were like the Xbox music pass though that would be awesome.

kralnor says:

That's what is funny about the whole thing, zune/Xbox music pass has been doing what people have been begging apple to do with iTunes to do for years. Subscription service, DL/stream exactly what you want all you want.

ljpuk says:

I'm on spotify, think its going to be hard to compete

tuffy100 says:

I'm all for more music streaming apps :)

blessed2bamommie says:

Wonder how they'll one up everybody. Could you actually take your playlists mobile for free? I do Spotify from a PC when I do & occasionally Pandora on my phone. Ooooooh good point about data...late model car with no aux so not much on the go.

Galley says:

Rhapsody gets my $10 per month.

Easy-G says:

Would this be available globally? US only? Or would music offerings vary by country according to licensing conditions?

Carioca32 says:

I'd much rather see a real radio on the iPhone, to use without my data plan, but I guess Apple cannot monetize on that, so no point giving users that option, eh?

Another streaming service? No thanks, I have Rdio, which I can use on iOS, PC or Android. Any service from Apple will not give me these options so, thank you but no thank you.

arin.failing says:

Whoa.... déjà vu. Is it iRadio rumor time again? I guess so... it IS springtime. It sounds identical to the one from last year, and the year before that.

counterculture says:

I would rather see them utilize these efforts into their already used iTunes Match service. Until they use their efforts to better the services they already have, I see no reason to add something new. I feel this may be another "Ping-like" endeavor and we see how well that went. Expanding into other lanes is vital for business, I understand, however only if the company puts more than half-assed work into it. Apple needs to take this endeavor seriously, and they may be able to compete. Still would like a better iTunes Match...something that is paid for rather than a free streaming-Pandora-like app.

CylonJason says:

What do you think would make iTunes Match better? I use it but haven't really thought of what's wrong with it.

gammills08 says:

I would definitely use the service. I think it's a good idea for sure.

dazr87 says:

but its still not XBox Music, I love my Lumia 920 and I cant ever see me buying another iPhone. Oh and a yrs free subscription to Pandora for all Windows Phone 8 users... Apple really are falling behind here, which is sad because they were a really good company. that is until the untimely demise of the late and great Steve Jobs. He made apple what it was and now he's gone, Apple is falling behind majorly and rather than innovating new ideas, they are taking old ideas and putting an apple label on them :(

quamdar says:

I have a feeling you won't be able to delete the app and I hate having multiple apps on my phone that do the same thing so unless they don't offer a free service or Pandora is WAY better I will probably make the switch.

I don't use streaming radio often anyway so it is no big deal for me.

GlennRuss says:

Pandora was great in the beginning, but seems like the playlist of an artist can be way off some days. The forty hour limit a month can add up, and another paid service is not what I need. It is a great price, but I have been using Rhapsody before I even had Apple products. I like the idea of a playlist of the artist instead of a mix that can be way off. Just works better for me. If Apple did something similar with their large library of music at a cheaper price than Rhapsody, I would go for it.

Charles Isaac says:

I am not sure how much I would like this. I am not a fan of the others so I have always wondered why people are so hip on these.

viinsanity says:

I would definitely use. For awhile I used Pandora, then switched to Spotify, and now I don't use either.