Sony is said to be the last of the three major record labels Apple needed to sign a deal with before it was ready to launch (or at least to announce) the service to the public. The information comes just before the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which many suspect is where Apple will announce the new service alongside new or updated versions of its iOS and OS X operating systems.
The new ad-supported music service is expected to mimic Internet radio leader Pandora with a few more bells and whistles rather than follow the path of Spotify, which allows its users to access streaming music on-demand. An Apple radio service would also face plenty of competition from other services, including Slacker Radio and the recently launched service from Google, Google Play Music “All Access.”
We still don’t know exactly how Apple’s music service will function, or the exact terms of its deal with record labels. Apple’s service was apparently stalled because it wanted labels to grant it lower licensing fees on music played through the service in exchange for a cut of the advertising revenue.