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Deals for Apple Custom Radio Service 'Nowhere Near to Being Completed'

Back in early September, news broke in several publications about Apple's plans for a Pandora-like custom radio service, with the company reportedly seeking to arrange deals with music labels to allow more flexibility than permitted under the mandatory licensing used by Pandora. At the time, a launch was said to be "months away".

By late October, reports were indicating that talks remained in limbo with Apple and the major music labels remaining far apart in their licensing offers, although Apple was reportedly still hoping for an early 2013 launch.

As part of a report noting that Pandora's stock plunged yesterday after issuing weak guidance for the upcoming quarter, CNET says that Apple still has not made any significant progress with the major music labels.
The rumors continue to swirl but multiple music industry sources have told CNET in recent weeks that the deal that Apple has offered for iRadio has left the major record companies -- Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group -- cold.

My sources say that, at a minimum, a deal with all the majors is nowhere near to being completed. Even if Apple sweetens its offer or the big labels change their mind tomorrow, these deals take a while to put to bed. Even in the best case scenario, it will still be a while before we see iRadio.
Eddy Cue has long been Apple's "master negotiator" for content deals, a role that he has reportedly filled with a calm yet firm demeanor that has made him very well respected in the business. As Apple's content empire has grown, Cue's role has expanded to the point where it now encompasses the iTunes Store, App Store, iCloud, iBookstore, iAd, Siri, and Maps.

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26 months ago

Nope, once it's on Spotify it's there for good. Think of it as access to stream everything in the iTunes store without having to pay for individual songs - ever.


Spotify Premium costs £10 a month, so £120 a year. If I own zero music and use Spotify Premium for 10 years it will cost me £1,200. If I then decide that I don't want to pay £10 a month any more, I am back to owning zero music.

That is the potential downside of using Spotify Premium, as spending the equivalent £1,200 on CDs would mean that you owned around 170 albums worth of music that you could now listen to for the rest of your life for free, whereas with Spotify you have to carry on spending £120 a year for life to listen to your music, even if you are now listening to the same 170 albums over and over again.

Now, if you constantly listen to new music and are happy to spend £10 a month for the rest of your life then that isn't a downside and Spotify is the perfect solution for you. But if you spend less than £120 a year on physical music or iTunes downloads, or if you will eventually reach a point where you know what you like and are happy to listen to that selection, then it doesn't work out quite as well.

Don't get me wrong, I think Spotify Premium is an excellent service, but I do think that some people that talk about never having to buy music ever again are missing the big picture, and thinking very short to medium term.

I personally tend to subscribe to Premium for a couple of months a year and use that as a chance to listen to new music or artists that I want to get into, and then use the £100 that I've saved by not subscribing for the whole year to then buy the albums of those artists that I like.
Rating: 5 Votes
26 months ago
I just want an FM Radio on the iPhone...the GS3 has it!
Rating: 5 Votes
26 months ago
Let's hope it'll be available in Canada unlike Pandora and Spotify.
Rating: 5 Votes
26 months ago

I cant see Apple being able to match Spotify. The prices, the signed on artists, etc - there's very little room for improvement with Spotify, and I dont think many would really move to an iTunes version just because it's Apple.


I would. If Apple could offer a yearly subscription to have stream any music from iTunes and be able to move things to listen to offline, I would sign up in a heartbeat. Having something like that integrated into OSX and iOS would be so much better than what Spotify is offering for desktop and mobile apps
Rating: 2 Votes
26 months ago

Maybe with this time, they can change their plan and make something more Spotify like, instead of Pandora like.


I cant see Apple being able to match Spotify. The prices, the signed on artists, etc - there's very little room for improvement with Spotify, and I dont think many would really move to an iTunes version just because it's Apple.

I stopped using iTunes about 2 years ago, and have used Spotify daily since. The only 1 feature I could even think of wanting is a 'mini' player like the new iTunes has :)

For me- there's no point buying stuff on iTunes anymore. Spotify is cheap enough to just use as-is, and with the speed of mobile internet access, you can still have a decent quality stream whilst on the go, and can still keep a copy of it on your iphone/ipad without owning the song as part of your spotify playlist.
Rating: 2 Votes
26 months ago

For me- there's no point buying stuff on iTunes anymore.


And this is exactly why Apple is working on this. The tides are shifting (again) and people are no longer buying music, digital or not. To me it has to do with the fact that most new music is crap and super-dispoable. For example, no need to buy or download Rihana's latest album, she releases one every 6 months, and the good tracks get released on radio so you listen to them until you are sick of them, then move on.
Rating: 2 Votes
26 months ago

Nope, once it's on Spotify it's there for good. Think of it as access to stream everything in the iTunes store without having to pay for individual songs - ever.


This is not true at all. Songs do come and go. Labels have the right to pull their content down and this has happened many times before.

Also, songs disappear due to regional restrictions as well.
Rating: 2 Votes
26 months ago
Hmm...perhaps Cue's portfolio is too big? He has a lot on his plate, and plenty of issues with maps, Siri, iCloud, iMessage, etc. throw in negotiations with record companies, cable TV companies, content providers, etc. that's a lot. :eek:
Rating: 2 Votes
26 months ago

Eddy Cue has long been Apple's "master negotiator" (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/31/apples-master-negotiator-and-product-resuscitator-eddy-cue-profiled/) for content deals, a role that he has reportedly filled with a calm yet firm demeanor that has made him very well respected in the business.


Weren't Eddy's "masterful negotiating skills" responsible for apple colluding with several publishers thus managing to increase the prices of ebooks and hurt consumers worldwide because they wanted their guaranteed 30% cut off of each book sold? I wonder how "well respected in the business" someone should be when they have both the DOJ and the European Union authorities going after them... I would put that person down as a bit of a crook, but that's just my opinion. :)
Rating: 2 Votes
26 months ago

I don't use Pandora's service from Pandora, why would I use anything like it from Apple?

If Apple wants to change models, they should move to something people want, like Spotify, not something they don't want.


Personally, I've discovered probably hundreds of songs listening to Pandora. Songs I would never have come across otherwise. I've voted up and down so many songs, that at this point, it rarely ever plays a song I don't like anymore. Pandora is much better than Spotify. Simple, and plays what I like.

Although honestly, that is subject to opinion. If you're the boring type who dislikes discovering new things or you enjoy the thrill of the hunt for new songs, then sure, Spotify is for you. If you like discovering new things, but you'd rather have the discoveries (that you'll enjoy) brought to you, rather than having to hunt them down, then Pandora is certainly a much better choice.
Rating: 1 Votes

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