Apple Still Working to Finalize Streaming Music Deals Ahead of Rumored WWDC Launch

Just weeks ahead of the rumored debut of its newly revamped streaming music service, Apple is still working to get key deals completed. According to a new report from Billboard that cites music industry sources, Apple does not yet have the necessary licensing agreements that it needs to launch the service, leading to disagreements over whether it will be ready to go in June.

A June launch is still attainable. One source notes Apple has been able to quickly secure licensing deals in the past. "If any company can pull it off, they can," the source tells Billboard, adding that "labels are more likely to play ball with them" because of Apple's track record of generating revenue for rights holders.

Another major label source believes the Beats Music re-launch isn't coming soon. "June won't be the release date. The deals aren't done."

Rumors about several licensing issues have arisen over the past several months as Apple has worked to ink deals with record labels. Originally, Apple was said to be seeking an agreement that would let it offer its new music service for $7.99 per month, but it was forced to back down on that price point after record companies resisted going below $9.99.

beats-music-app-ios
More recently, rumors have suggested Apple is pressuring music labels to cease offering licenses for the freemium tiers that Spotify and other services offer, as Apple does not plan to offer a freemium tier for its rebranded music service. These efforts have earned Apple government scrutiny, as the European Commission is now poking into Apple's agreements with music companies. U.S. Department of Justice officials are also said to be looking into Apple's music negotiations.

Apple is known for asking for highly favorable deals from media companies due to its influence and the sheer number of potential customers it commands, and it is unsurprising that the company has yet to finalize deals given some of the rumors about its demands. If deals are not completed in time, it's possible Apple will unveil the music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference, but release it at a later date.

Apple's upcoming music service is said to be positioned as a rebranding of its existing Beats Music service. To draw in customers and set its music service apart from the competition, Apple is aiming to offer a range of exclusive content. There are also plans to integrate the new music service deeply into iTunes, and it's likely it will be built into the newly revamped Music app introduced with iOS 8.4.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
71 months ago

Just GTFO Apple. Admit buying Beats was a $3 billion blunder, and move on. You're just wasting money trying to force yourself into this market.


While I'm neither supporting or condemning the Beats acquisition - streaming music services are the future of the music industry. Apple would be stupid to move on after investing well over 3 billion in this venture.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
Just GTFO Apple. Admit buying Beats was a $3 billion blunder, and move on. You're just wasting money trying to force yourself into this market.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
They are way behind in this game. They should of bought Spotify instead of Beats.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
This is one area where Apple can't seem to reinvent to the point where people are willing to switch. Services in general seem to be Apple's black box.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago

Buy then for what? 50B, for that kind of money Apple could just buy the artists and produce all the money in house...

Spotify is crap for artists, Youtube too. Only mega stars can live off it.

I always find it funny how many people are for Spotify.

If you want to be a all is free kind of person, don't give money to streaming services that crap on the artist's head and say that hey, its all publicity for their concert or sales... publicity for what? Playing 300 gigs a year and selling 1000 tunes to be able to eat and buy new equipment?

That's how it is for 99.9% of artists these days. Eventually, they'll wake up and actually value their own stuff and stop groveling. Because if they don't value it; the buyers won't...

Streaming services are so bad that you might as well steel the artists work outright for the good they're getting from it.

There are "places" where you can download the 300K songs you'd need to cover just about every significant artist in any genre there is of the last 20 years (could be done in about 3 months with my connection). If I want pre-1990 catalog, another 200K should suffice (2 months more) to have a pretty decent amount of songs (sic). Then, you wouldn't need a streaming service ever. Just keep up the date the new arrivals every week; you can automate that... (I'm not doing that... But it is very doable).

Yes... I don't do that. I actually still buy songs or shudder entire albums. Man, I must be that old.



I find it funny how people are for Apple no matter what.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
I totally don't get the Apple hate on this.

Spotify has a horrible businessmodel that strangles artists. Do you know how many people should listen to your song just to live from it as an artist?
I'm not a fan of that what's-her-name-again that pulled her songs from Spotify but I surely understand her point of view

I love Soundcloud as an 'artist discovery' platform and buy the albums on iTunes or a real album if I really love them :)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...