While it is still at odds with some music companies over deal terms, Apple is said to be eager to get the licenses in time to unveil the service — nicknamed iRadio by the technology press — at its annual developers conference, which begins June 10 in San Francisco.
Apple has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group for its recorded music rights, but not for music publishing — the part of the business that deals with songwriting. Over the weekend, Apple also signed a deal with the Warner Music Group for both rights.
Still remaining, though, is a deal with Sony Music. Last month, we heard that one particular issue Apple is attempting to navigate involves “the economics of song skipping,” which specifically concerns the necessary royalty payments required when users have the option of skipping, rewinding, or repeating streamed tracks.
Representatives from Apple have reportedly declined to comment.
Apple’s music streaming service is rumored to be free, ad-supported, and to offer Pandora-like functionality. However, the Cupertino, Calif. company is also said to be seeking more flexibility from labels for iRadio users.
Here’s hoping Apple is able to wrap up deals with remaining labels ahead of its WWDC keynote. If so, June 10 could boast one of the most interesting Apple keynotes in recent years.
We’ll keep you updated with further information as it becomes available.