Apple Working on Pandora-Like Music Service? [Updated]
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is "seeking to create a Pandora-rival custom radio service." Citing "people familiar with the matter", the Journal claims the service would work across Apple's line of products -- including Macs, the iPhone and the iPad -- and possibly even on Windows PC's. Unsurprisingly, it would not work on Android devices.
Apple only recently initiated licensing negotiations with record labels for its putative service, and even if it does complete deals, it could be a matter of months when such a service might launch, according to these people.
The company has in the past contemplated and abandoned other interactive features, including a Spotify-like service that would have let users rent unlimited amounts of music for a fixed monthly fee. But people familiar with the current talks say they appear to be more serious than those previous tentative inquiries.
As on Pandora, the music would be interspersed with ads, in this case carried by Apple's iAd platform, which syndicates ads to iPhone and iPad apps.
The WSJ says Apple is negotiating its own licensing deals with record companies, rather than going by the government-set rates paid by Pandora.
The article does not lay out a timeline for the service, though its claim that Apple is still in negotiations with record companies suggests it won't be arriving at the Apple Media Event already announced for September 12.
Update 8:04 PM: The New York Times has filed its own report on the developments, citing "three people briefed on Apple’s plans". The report offers a similar description of Apple's goals, noting that the service would likely arrive as an app that could interface with a user's iTunes Store account to build upon the current Genius functionality in iTunes.
Apple’s service would likely take the form of a pre-installed app on Apple’s devices like iPhones and iPads and might be able to connect to a user’s iTunes account to judge his or her tastes.
Like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times indicates that a launch for the service "could be months away" and is not likely to be announced at next week's media event.