As is often the case when fall approaches and an Apple event draws near, rumors have begun to swirl about Apple starting a Pandora-style streaming/subscription music service. Even though Apple has resolutely stuck to iTunes purchases for music, and added the subscription-based iTunes Match music locker service, the allure of true streaming solution is such that everyone and their journal of record seems to agree Apple is working on something like it, to launch sometime. Today Ethan Smith and Jessica E. Vascellaro of the Wall Street Journal report:
Ben Sisario and Nick Wingfield of the New York Times add:
iAds would subsidize the service, reportedly, much as they do with Pandora already.
With Apple having explored but not pulled the trigger on streaming/subscription music offerings before, it's hard to tell just how likely they are to pull the trigger on this version, this time. Apple's had incredible success, both with Steve Jobs and Eddy Cue, in making content deals -- more than any other company on the planet. That's a mixed blessing, however, as they've faced equal and opposite push back from media companies who fear their online dominance.
Apple has the iPhone 5 event scheduled for September 12, and is rumored to be holding an iPad mini event sometime in October as well. iTunes and music will probably get some attention at one of those. It would likely take a lot of movement, and a lot of deals, to see any streaming/subscription music announcements made by then.
Of course, if they do, they'll have my money at "boom". How about you?
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.