Monday, June 03, 2013

Apple inks deal with Warner Music; iRadio could launch at WWDC

With WWDC about a week away, Apple is working hard at completing the licensing it needs for its iRadio (if indeed that is what it is called) service. On Sunday, Apple reached agreement with both Warner Music Group -- the smallest of the Big Three music labels -- and its publishing arm, Warner Chappell.

With that, Apple has deals in place with two of the Big Three labels. Last month, Universal Music Group came to agreement with Apple. Meanwhile, Sony, the middle-sized of the Big Three, continues to negotiate with the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant over specifics of the service.

According to reports, Apple will pay Warner Music Group 10 percent of the ad revenue from the service. That is apparently twice what the popular online radio service Pandora pays.

That is an interesting turn of events. Earlier in the negotiations, the labels had agreed to let Apple pay a per-stream rate that was half of what Pandora pays. The shift shows that Apple is willing to bargain in order to get its service out to market.

With the deal in place, Apple may be close to being able to launch iRadio at WWDC.

The news follows closely that of Google's All Access music, which is a Spotify-like subscription service. Apple's big rival is reportedly also working to develop a music service tied to YouTube.

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