Apple is preparing to take Spotify and Pandora heads on with its so-called “iRadio” streaming music service, as CNET reports that the company has made serious ground by reaching a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group, the third largest global music label.
The Cupertino-based corporation is “working hard” to unveil the iRadio service at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week, having already reached a deal to license music from the world’s largest label in Universal Music. Apple continues to negotiate with Sony over a number of specifics.
Apple was believed to be getting quite a deal, but that has allegedly fallen through:
Earlier in the negotiations, the labels had agreed to let Apple pay a per-stream rate that was half of what the labels get from Pandora. That changed, however, and sources now say that the deals have Apple playing the same rate as Pandora, or even higher.
iRadio will be a global streaming service for mobile devices, built into iTunes, available at no cost to end users. There is, however, the potential for audio ads akin to the ones heard on Pandora. Users will be able to purchase songs they hear directly from iTunes, which has over 500 million accounts on file.