We’ve heard whispers of a Spotify-like system that’s in the works at Apple before, but nothing has surfaced for a while now. The New York Times believes that Apple still plans to launch the service, although its launch has been pushed back from early 2013 to summer, or later, this year.
The reason for the delay is deal negotiations with major record labels – in particular Sony/ATV, which Apple needs in order to secure the music catalogues of EMI and other companies. It’s thought that deals are already done, or are very close to being done, with BMI and Ascap.
A music streaming service has been a gaping omission from Apple for several years now, and with the growth of iTunes and the company’s mobile devices it has become a more and more clear move for them. However, rumours and reports are all that have surfaced to date.
The service is most commonly known as ‘iRadio’, fitting in with Apple’s iSomething branding ethos and the type of service it would be. You never know though, going by some of the names they were going to call the iPhone, it could end up being called something whacky like iMusicOnline.
Having left it so late, a music streaming service from Apple will arrive very late to the game, joining the established likes of Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and others. However, we’re sure Apple can flex its iTunes muscle and get a lot of people on board.
As for the launch? Well, it could well be WWDC in June, where Apple usually reveals the next version of iOS and other new software. Then again, it could come as part of a ‘Fall’ music event along with new iPods.