The new files the site found discovered were two radio buttons -- with, ironically enough, images of radio towers -- labeled “buy.” There has been a long-standing rumor about Apple perhaps creating its own streaming radio service, akin to Pandora or Spotify. Its thought that the image, linked here, may have something to do with that.
Notably, though, the buttons appeared in the files of the iPad Music app. They did not appear in the iPhone version of the app.
In October of last year, Bloomberg predicted a streaming radio service, with a Q1 2013 launch. For those who are calendar-challenged, that would be this quarter.
In its report, Bloomberg claimed that executives from Warner Music Group Corp, Universal Music Group, and Sony Corp’s music division met with Apple at the company’s Cupertino headquarters to discuss plans for the streaming radio service.
Despite iTunes' dominance of digital music -- and music sales overall -- Bloomberg said that both Apple and music labels are looking to new revenue streams. Bloomberg wrote:
With sales of music downloads slowing, Apple and record companies are seeking new ways for customers to discover and buy digital music.In addition, Apple’s iPod nanos -- which, to be clear, do not run iOS -- have long had the ability to play FM radio and make iTunes purchases from songs tagged on the iPod.
However, with iOS 6.1 having been released, and with no such buttons in the iPhone Music app, it looks like a new streaming service from Apple won't come until perhaps iOS 7.
Still, it's enough to start folks speculating, of that there is no doubt.