Negotiations between Apple and major record labels Universal Music Group and Warner Music are crawling at a slow pace according to a report by Cnet. Apple is doing this in preparation for their rumored music streaming service that speculators dub as iRadio. Sources say that the company is aiming for a summer launch despite the fact that even if the deal with Universal and Warner falls through, they would still need to negotiate with Sony Music.
To make iRadio a reality Apple would have to make a deal that is better for both the music labels and the users than what is currently being offered by Pandora, currently one of the biggest names on internet radio. Apple also would need to stay one step ahead of Google who is said to be planning to offer a music streaming service via YouTube, and Facebook who also has the same plans.
Apple will try to stay on top of the competition by offering a better deal to music labels than Pandora. They can do this and still stay competitive because Apple is planning generating additional revenue through the features iRadio will have. According to inside sources, Apple is planning to incorporate a prominent download/purchase button linked to iTunes on the interface of iRadio so that a user can use while listening to a song.
Apple hopes this would generate a lot of impulse purchases. It is also rumored that Apple would be incorporating features not currently offered by current Internet Radio providers like a means to restart a song as well as make the service very accessible and easy to use on Apple devices especially the mobile devices like the iPhone, iPod and iPad. Aside from the sales from downloads, Apple could also use audio advertising to add revenue stream to the free iRadio service.
Once the plan for iRadio is realized, Apple would have no problem introducing the service to the millions of Apple users all over the world. With this many devices and the huge database of customer credit card information the next thing Apple might think when if iRadio is realized might be iWallet.