Apple is expected to launch a web radio service similar to Pandora‘s later this year, provided that executives there can strike an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment as well as music publishers. Talks with Sony, which operates the third label, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony / ATV, the music publishing company jointly run with the estate of the late singer Michael Jackson, are said to not be as far along towards reaching a deal. Last week, The Verge broke the news that Apple had made made substantial progress in the talks with Universal and Warner.
As for the financial terms, Apple will not receive the steep discounts it had sought for the labels’ music. According to a story published last month in the New York Post, Apple initially offered to pay 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, or about half of what Pandora pays. Now, Apple will pay rates nearly “neck and neck” with Pandora, one of the sources said. But what mustn’t be forgotten is that Apple’s new service will be similar to Pandora’s. but it won’t be a clone. According to the sources, iRadio will come with more on-demand features.