) has finally settled on a contract with
) Music Group, according to a report from
With Warner Music Group and
) Universal Music Group signing with Apple last week, the tech
giant now has the means to launch its streaming radio, dubbed
iRadio by the press.
While speculation thus far has suggested that Apple wouldn't
announce the launch of its new product at its Worldwide Developers
Conference (WWDC), which will take place June 10 to June 14, the
addition of Sony could prove to be a game-changer.
The months-long struggle to sign all three music companies largely
came about as a result of Apple's unwillingness to pay more than
Pandora Media Inc.
) and Spotify do for content, insisting that its product's direct
link to the iTunes store would result in additional purchases of
music that the major labels license.
Now that everyone is on board, Apple can compete for Pandora's 200
million users, and Spotify's 24 million users, 6 million of which
are paid subscribers.
The new iRadio system is expected to generate revenue in a manner
similar to Pandora, which currently offers users 40 ad-supported
hours per month of music that are free to the user before he or she
must pay for a $3.99 subscription to keep listening. Spotify, on
the other hand, only offers 10 free hours and is only available on
the iPhone and iPad with a paid
Apple has yet to mention any subscription service alongside its
ad-supported streaming service, reports
. Reports also suggest that Apple will provide the major music
labels with 10% of its ad revenue, as opposed to the 4% labels
receive from Pandora.
It's important not to overlook
) release of its Google Play Music All Access on May 15 as part of
this story. Google charges users $9.99 per month for unlimited
music access, much like Spotify Premium.
With iRadio's unique ability to potentially sync directly with
iTunes accounts and the iTunes store, and with users granted the
power to rewind songs, the music streaming market may be in for
quite a shake-up.
Apple Inc. Is Actually Spending a Lot of Money, but on