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Apple’s Pandora-killer cometh — finally?
After being rumored for months (and reportedly suffering from plenty of delays), Apple is making a big push to settle licensing deals for its Internet radio service in time for its Worldwide Developers Conference next week, both the New York Times and CNet are reporting.
Dubbed “iRadio” by Apple press, the service is expected to function much like Pandora or Spotify’s Radio feature. It’ll likely let you personalize music streams based on specific artists, as well as your current music library. There’s also word that Apple has managed to finagle lower licensing rates from music publishers by giving them a cut from other revenue streams (on top of the money publishers get from iTunes sales). Ultimately, iRadio could end up being a great thing for labels (but not so much for existing Internet radio services).
Apple finalized a deal with Warner Music Group today, the first to include both music recording and publishing (which is responsible for songwriting rights), a source tells CNet. The company has also scored recorded music rights from Universal, and it’s still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and its publishing subsidiary Sony A/TV.
Google launched its own music streaming service, Google Play Music “All Access,” at its developer conference last month. That service offers both unlimited access to Google Play’s music library, in addition to personalized Internet radio. Ultimately though, that lead won’t matter much — Apple has an entrenched audience of music buyers with iTunes, and it wouldn’t take much to convince them to jump on an unlimited music service.