The long-rumored iRadio streaming music service from Apple will apparently be launching this summer, according to a new report from The Verge. The company has apparently made some significant progress on negotions with two of the major music labels; Universal Music and Warner. As such, one of the sources from the report have said ‘iRadio is coming. There’s no doubt about it anymore’ noting that Apple is working hard for a summer 2013 launch of the service.
Previous rumors had suggested that one of the reasons that the iRadio service had not launched thus far is because Apple was looking to significantly limit the amount of royalties that it would pay music labels per song played. For example, existing music streaming service Pandora pays around 12 cents per hundred songs streamed, Apple was negotiating on a 6 cents per hundred song rate. This is in contrast to services like Spotify, which pay around 35 cents per hundred songs (although reports suggest that Spotify is looking to lower this rate).
The Verge has apparently sourced the iRadio launch information from multiple music industry insiders, but no specifics are given on how likely the summertime launch is, or the consumer pricing of such a service. There’s also no word on whether iRadio will be a streaming-on-demand service with unlimited plays like Spotify, or whether they would adopt the Pandora model of radio-type streaming where the user has less control over what is played.