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Apple Near Deal For Radio Service 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the iListen-to-your-iFavorite-iSongs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TechCrunch and The Verge are reporting that Apple is near a deal with Universal Music to provide a streaming 'iRadio' music service. 'Apple is expected to launch a web radio service similar to Pandora's later this year, provided that executives there can strike an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment as well as music publishers. Talks with Sony, which operates the third label, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony / ATV, the music publishing company jointly run with the estate of the late singer Michael Jackson, are said to not be as far along towards reaching a deal. ... As for the financial terms, Apple will not receive the steep discounts it had sought for the labels' music.' Apple's 400 million active iTunes accounts could give even Pandora, with its 200 million users, something to worry about. 'For startups and streaming music companies, this means looking closely at the competitive advantages offered by their own platforms and decided how best to position their own services. A key advantage, and one that will likely get emphasized by virtually everyone challenged by an iRadio, is cross-platform compatibility. Apple will likely be able to offer something along those lines through iTunes on Windows, but for the most part it'll be a strictly iOS/Mac affair. That, combined with personalization and recommendation engines, along with other value add features, will be the way to combat an iTunes streaming service, but no matter what, an Apple product will change the face of this market.'"
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Apple Near Deal For Radio Service

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  • by gl4ss (559668) on Sunday April 14, 2013 @06:34AM (#43445231) Homepage Journal

    no need to report until either one of actually happens. reading about it every few days gets old when there's nothing concrete new to report.

  • by ron-l-j (1725874) on Sunday April 14, 2013 @06:38AM (#43445243)
    I do not care who makes the product. As long as the artists make a fair wage, and the content is quality. Good audio quality content is hard to find anywhere on the web. Finding quality MP3 bitrate is hard as well. That is why people turn to apple, because there is quality control. I would love to see a free software foundation built store full of high quality content that artists are proud to be a part of. Developers are artists, and like artists its had to get along, and agree on some thing so large. maybe I should go over to kick starter...... But then Stallman would get mad when the Hollywood types would want to DRM the whole business.
    • by dfghjk (711126)

      "Good audio quality content is hard to find anywhere on the web." No.
      "Finding quality MP3 bitrate is hard as well." No.
      "That is why people turn to apple, because there is quality control." No.
      "Developers are artists..." No.

      "maybe I should go over to kick starter..." Yeah, you should do that.

      I'm sure musicians would love having RMS dictate the licensing terms of their works. With the FSF revolutionizing music, perhaps we can look for some young Finnish artist starting a grassroots effort to clone Beethoven'

    • I do not care who makes the product. As long as the artists make a fair wage, and the content is quality. Good audio quality content is hard to find anywhere on the web. Finding quality MP3 bitrate is hard as well. That is why people turn to apple, because there is quality control.

      I have no problems at all finding music in MP3 format in good quality. I just go to Amazon. Usually I go to iTunes for AAC format, but as I said, finding MP3 music is no problem at all. Is there something I'm missing in what you are trying to say?

      • I have no problems at all finding music in MP3 format in good quality. I just go to Amazon.

        There have been a lot of singles that I haven't been able to find on Amazon, except by cover bands best known for their karaoke albums. "Anyone At All" by Carole King and "Gimme Little Sign" were among them last time I checked.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Actually music downloaded from iTunes is often inferior to well encoded MP3s. It comes in AAC format 256Kbit, encoded with an unknown application that doesn't seem to perform as well as LAME encoded MP3s at 320Kb. It also inserts some personally identifying metadata into the file.

      I'll take well encoded MP3s or preferably FLAC thanks, otherwise I'm not interested.

    • Not even DRM- Stallman would get mad because the artists were releasing their music under the heretically un-Freeâ Creative Commons license, instead of GPL, the One True License Forever And Ever Amen.

      http://news.slashdot.org/story/06/02/07/1733220/rms-says-creative-commons-unacceptable [slashdot.org]

  • >"Apple will likely be able to offer something along those lines through iTunes on Windows, but for the most part it'll be a strictly iOS/Mac affair."

    That is no surprise. Just what we need- another platform-locked streaming radio. So far, Spotify has better options than Pandora, but it doesn't run on Linux, severely limiting it's usefulness to me.

    iWhatever be certainly be less useful, since at least Spotify AND Pandora are available on the #1 phone platform (Android) and the #1 or #2 (depending on your

  • by rossdee (243626) on Sunday April 14, 2013 @08:41AM (#43445511)

    I like to choose the music I listen to. I gave up radio long ago.

  • Fuck all these big companies that think they can own the world.

    If we had a Justice Department that was worth a damn, Apple would be facing huge anti-trust suits just for thinking about something like this.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      If we had a Justice Department that was worth a damn, Apple would be facing huge anti-trust suits just for thinking about something like this.

      Apple isn't a monopoly.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        Apple isn't a monopoly.

        The anti-trust laws are about more than simple monopolies. They're about anti-competitive practices, price-fixing, etc.

        You don't have to have a monopoly to be involved in monopolistic behavior. Vertical integration is one thing that anti-trust laws address. That means owning too much of the chain of production. Microsoft was not a monopoly either, but the anti-competitive effect of building Internet Explorer into their operating system and giving it certain advantages set off enou

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Microsoft was not a monopoly either,

          Not true. Microsoft was declared to be a monopoly in operating systems.

          Vertical integration is one thing that anti-trust laws address

          True. If Apple were vertically integrating to establish a monopoly that would be illegal. Vertical integration is perfectly legal. General Motors is allowed to use their own parts, run their own dealerships and provide loans. Even when the government ran GM directly.

          If Apple's new "radio service" is integrated into iOS, how is th

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday April 14, 2013 @11:33AM (#43446113)

    Why does it matter what platforms your streaming solution supports? If someone moves to a platform that doesn't support your service, they just switch to someone who does. If they move to a platform that supports your service, there's almost no barrier to switch over because you are both offering an unlimited supply of streaming music with a variety of channels. When you are providing a service that gives the user nothing of permanence, they have no reason to stay with you.

    I don't think iTunes can compete on price at all, there's no way the music industry is going to let margin slip out of their grasp again. So it'll probably be nearly the same price as other services.

    Where iTunes might be able to have a bit of a leg up is baking streaming radio support into indie contracts that iTunes carries, so that they automatically get a wider range of music that other services would have a rough time matching since it would involve a ton of separate contracts. Perhaps that's widespread in streaming today, I don't know.

    • I don't know.

      I guess you don't. I absolutely agree with you Apple is rotten, but excusing them, just because they are heading towards being a niche product is not right. We have learnt from IE that bundling software how abuse monopolies can stop innovation...and can only imagine how bad it would be not if like the iphone the bowser was locked to the iphone [safari frontends don't count ;)], and your right Apple should not not be considered a platform at all, but opened up to competing services, so Apple users can benefi

      • Where did that wild and totally unrelated missive come from? It's in response to my pointing out that streaming radio is the OPPOSITE of lock-in, no matter WHO is providing it because it's so easy to leave. So iTunes providing streaming radio does nothing to further Apple lock-in, it's just a nice to user service on a number of popular platforms (including Windows I might point out). In fact if anything it reduces average consumer lock-in if fewer people are buying and more are streaming. It ties peopl

  • Not to be cynical - a promise which I'll most likely break in the first sentence - but one of the ways this market will be changed by Apple's entry is the expected launch of several law suits, most likely by Apple. The start has probably already been made by Apple patenting the most trivial aspects of their future service. In a few years time we'll see lawsuits started by Apple on the way competitors match music choices, on the automatic composition of playlists, etc. It would be good news if I were to be w

  • by ZipK (1051658) on Sunday April 14, 2013 @02:36PM (#43446879)
    Streaming services like Pandora and Rdio aren't radio, they're jukeboxes. Even a canned playlist from another user is missing the human element of an announcer who shares his or her knowledge of the music and bands, as well as adding thought and experience into the segues and sets.There's no spontaneity in these services, no tie to the time of day or local events, no cultural gathering point. Other than music, they exhibit few of the characteristics that make good radio a great listening experience.
    • by jbolden (176878)

      I think it has been about a quarter century since there has been DJs on regular radio much. By that standard there just isn't much radio left anywhere.

  • This service seems to be limited to the music of certain big labels. If you're not with that big label, your music will not be on iRadio. That's a serious limitation that traditional over-the-air radio stations do not have - they pay a flat fee, or a fee per song played, regardless of the publisher of the song. That alone makes it so much less interesting. It's not radio, it's more of a "universal music promotion channel".

    And probably a total lack of dj's, that do announcements, some silly talk sometimes, g

  • by Mex (191941) on Monday April 15, 2013 @12:19AM (#43449489)

    Apple has so much money in their war chest, why don't they just buy them outright instead of trying to strike a deal? Is this such a crazy idea? Or maybe they just don't want to actually run them.

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