Apple Could Strike Deals This Week with Universal Music and Warner Music for iRadio Streaming Music Service

Despite the huge success of iTunes as a distribution model for music, Apple is certainly feeling the heat from several streaming music services, most notably Pandora and Spotify. The Cupertino company is widely rumored to be developing a similar music service of its own, and according to the Verge’s “multiple sources”, deals between Apple and music labels Universal and Warner could wrap up as early as this week.

The so-called iRadio service (even though that name is already taken) could roll out this year (or even this summer), and it would provide intriguing competition in the streaming Internet music radio space. Pandora and Spotify, for as excellent as both services are, need to strike more lucrative deals with the music labels to keep going strong. Pandora in particular seems to be struggling under the weight of hefty royalty fees. Worse, Apple might end up paying only half the royalty fees (6 cents per 100 song streams) that Pandora has to pay.

The current, non-streaming music radio iTunes

For Apple, nothing is in the bag either, though. Reportedly, talks with the other juggernaut, Sony, are not very far along. Without that third stream of artists and albums, iRadio might struggle to pull customers away from the more established services. Still, it’s hard to imagine that the company that talked all the labels into making iTunes the beast that it is won't be able to pull off a deal for a streaming service.