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

itunes radio round iconBack 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.

Top Rated Comments

Stu-Pid Avatar
106 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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Otterblue Avatar
106 months ago
Let's hope it'll be available in Canada unlike Pandora and Spotify.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apfeljonas Avatar
106 months ago
I just want an FM Radio on the iPhone...the GS3 has it!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacFoodPoisoner Avatar
106 months ago

Eddy Cue has long been Apple's "master negotiator" (https://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. :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thenaes Avatar
106 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
106 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:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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