Apple has stepped up its efforts to take the world by storm with a brand new streaming radio service next year, according to industry sources claiming knowledge of the project. The news service will apparently be similar to that currently offered by Pandora Media and Apple is at present negotiating deals with several major record labels.
The ongoing discussion are said to focus around how the advertising revenue would be shared should the system go ahead, which has of course already been dubbed iRadio by the Cupertino company’s loyal devotees. According to those behind the latest reports, a deal could be reached as early as November for broadcasting to begin in Q1 of next year.
Revenue from music downloads is slipping by the month and several businesses are already reporting a gloomy outlook for the coming years. As such, Apple has been actively investing efforts in devising ways and means to continue supplying music digitally and profitably. In what could prove to biggest challenge of all the Pandora, the iRadio from Apple will reportedly offer massively increased flexibility – not to mention the prestige of the Apple badge.
Internet radio as it currently exists is rather limited in terms of letting users select and skip specific tracks, along with how frequently artists and songs can be accessed on an hourly basis.
In addition to improving all of the above, Apple is reportedly seeking a number of deals for exclusive access to early releases and unreleased material.
Industry analysts have responded to the reports with little surprise, stating that radio is something of an obvious and natural progression for the future of the Cupertino company. Apple has already taken over the homes, offices and pockets of most of the world’s consumers – moving into radio would see Apple set up shop in people’s cars.
Pandora has struggled as of late, having reported a 12% drop this week and share price plummets of 18% over 2012 so far.
Apple remains the world’s biggest music retailer by far and operates more than 400 million active iTunes accounts. Should the radio project come to fruition, Apple will be looking to offer services whereby customers can buy tracks in the form of streaming music and revisit songs heard in playlists.
There is also likely to be the launch of a major new App for use on iPads, iPhone and iPod Touch media players to allow use of the new service. Industry sources and analysts alike have both stated that Apple will not be focusing primarily on web browser delivery of music.