Apple is close to striking a deal with two major music labels for the rights to stream their tracks on a Spotify-style iRadio service according to CNET. What’s more it’s believed that the deal could be more lucrative for labels than the current deal struck with US streaming service Pandora.
Apple could sign deals with both Warner Music and Universal Music Group within the next week, according to the sources. But both people caution that the deals have not yet been made and could still fall apart. In addition, Apple still needs to get Sony Music Group on board, as well as the music publishers. – CNET
This report goes on to suggest that the deal would include additional benefits to music publishers as it would offer direct download links via iTunes and that the service itself would be both free and available on mobile devices.
CNET goes on to suggest that an iRadio service could launch as soon as this summer (WWDC in June we expect) and that Apple would want to launch in at least a dozen regions including the UK and Australia.
There’s been no comment from Apple at this time, but we’ll keep you posted.