Apple is reported to be finally making headway in licensing talks to obtain content for its much rumored “iRadio” Internet radio service. Some insiders believe the service could be ready for its debut at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Citing people familiar with the ongoing talks, Apple inked a deal with Warner Music Group over the weekend for both recorded music and music publishing rights, adding to an existing arrangement with Universal Music Group for recorded music, reports The New York Times.
The first rumors about Apple’s Internet radio service surfaced last fall, but has been reported to have hit numerous snags along the way, as music companies are reported to have attempted to fleece the golden goose that is Apple by demanding higher royalty rates and minimum payments from the Cupertino firm than they have from other companies.
Most recently, reports have claimed that Apple has been offering a hybrid payment scheme to the record companies, which would offer both royalties per track streamed, and a share of iRadio’s advertising revenue to the publishers.
According to the weekend reports, the iRadio service will be mainly ad supported, much like established services Pandora and Spotify. No word on if Apple will offer a “premium” subscription that would remove ads for users. A possible iTunes connection would allow users to easily purchase tracks they would hear on iRadio.