Apple said to be closing music deals in order to launch ‘iRadio’ at upcoming WWDC

Update: Bloomberg adds more to WSJ’s report from earlier claiming that Apple’s new radio service will be tightly integrated with its iAd business. The report says Eddy Cue is currently making changes to the iAd business to support the new radio service scheduled to launch later this year alongside iOS 7:

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has been negotiating with advertising companies including Omnicom Group Inc (OMC).’s OMD to secure brands that will run campaigns on the radio service, one person said..The company has taken steps to be more flexible with advertisers to get more business. Apple has required marketers to pay a fee for each 1,000 times an advertisement is placed in an app, plus an additional $2 for every time a customer clicks that ad. In some cases, Apple has eliminated one of those charges, one person familiar with the company said.

Apple also has cut prices so that media agencies can spend $1 million and use the purchased space for different advertising clients. And Apple started taking ad business from companies that sell alcohol, something Jobs resisted after creating iAd, said one person.

We’ve heard no shortage of rumors on the rumored iRadio streaming service from Apple that has taken on some new urgency after Google released a similar service at Google I/O last month (and plans to launch it on iOS soon). The latest comes from the NYTimes, which says Apple is rushing to close deals as days wind down to WWDC’s kickoff on June 10th.

After months of stalled negotiations over its planned Internet radio service, Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week, according to people briefed on the talks.

It would appear that Apple wants to announce the service at WWDC, but the company needs to overcome issues with closing some of the deals. CNET reported earlier today that Apple had closed the deal with Warner, one of the bigger labels.

Apple has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group for its recorded music rights, but not for music publishing — the part of the business that deals with songwriting. Over the weekend, Apple also signed a deal with the Warner Music Group for both rights. It is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment and Sony’s separate publishing arm, Sony/ATV, whose songwriters include Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

In a strange irony, the music service Apple offers is, again, said to be free and supported by ads (like Pandora/Spotify/Slacker/etc). This is in contrast to Google’s service, which is sold via a paid subscription.

I would have guessed the opposite, but this may be why Google was able to close the deals with the labels and Apple is still at the table.

WSJ adds that Apple will pay Warner 10% of ad revenue, about twice as much as Pandora, and that the service will be integrated with iAd.

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‘Radio Buy Buttons’ found in iOS 6.1 via newly jailbroken iPads, could mean new functionality coming

iPad-radio
‘Radio Buy’ buttons, above, enlarged, put together from files, below

Having a look around our newly jailbroken iPads with iFunBox, we happened on a new set of files in the iPad Music.app. The files are called some variation of “radio button” with an icon that looks similar to the radio icon that used to be in iTunes for Mac (it was traded for a more prominent top location in iTunes 11 without the antenna tower). The iPad music app currently doesn’t have any radio functionality, so our first thought was that Apple would be adding an iTunes-like ‘traditional’ streaming radio to the iPad. Notably, jailbroken iPhones don’t contain these files in the Music app.

More interestingly, the name of these button files and are labeled with “buy” in the filename. This could imply exciting new functionality. We heard no shortage of rumors that Apple planned to take on the Pandoras and Spotifys of the world with its own ‘Radio’ service, and Bloomberg predicted a Q1 2013 (current) launch…

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Spotify to launch tomorrow in US

We just got word that Spotify will launch tomorrow in the US (as reported last week).  Perhaps something nice to put on your new Mac?

New York, July 13, 2011 – Spotfy, the award-winning digital music service loved by millions of Europeans, will become available tomorrow morning in the United States by invitation and subscription. Spotify is a new way to listen to and manage your music, discover new tracks and share songs and playlists with friends – music whenever you want it, wherever you are.

Be one of the first people in the U.S. to experience Spotify by signing up at www.spotify.com.

Spotify will announce more details at 8:00 AM EST.

You’ll want to hit this link at some point in the morning. Read more

Economic Times: Apple likely to release iCloud service in June, announce at WWDC


The Ecconomic Times expands on the recent chatter about the iTunes Cloud (iCloud?)service we’ve been hearing about.  The news site confirms that Apple has locked up deals with 3/4 of the top labels (Universal is widely reported to be the holdout) and is set to reveal the new service at next month’s WWDC.

The Cupertino, California-based gadget-maker is expected to launch a new Web-hosted music service next month, according to multiple reports, after negotiating deals with at least three of the four major record labels.

WWDC isn’t traditionally a venue for iTunes related news but we’ll give Apple a pass…