Apple is close to inking a deal with Universal Music for its rumoured streaming radio service.
The service itself, dubbed iRadio (although that’s likely to—and hopefully will—change), has been sitting in the rumour mill for some time, with Apple reportedly struggling to strike a deal with major music labels over royalty payments for streams.
Now, according to The Verge, Apple is expected to close a deal with Universal Music as early as next week, with Warner Music not far behind. Talks with Sony are still reported to be a little way off.
The change is reported to have come after Apple relented on its aggressive pricing terms that would see it paying just half the rates of similar service, Pandora. Now, the Apple and Pandora’s royalty rates are said to be almost ‘neck and neck’.
The service itself is said to be in direct competition with Pandora offering a similar, radio–style discovery service, only with more on–demand features. It’s believed the strategy behind Apple releasing such a service would be to increase iTunes and ad sales through new music discovery.