Apple plans to take on popular music streaming sites like Pandora and Spotify with its own in-house competitor. The company, which finally forced the music industry into the digital age with the launch of iTunes a decade ago, is seeking to produce a ad-supported radio service, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple has a long history of making its own version of services traditionally offered by others, and will soon launch its own Maps app in a bid to remove Google from its flagship iPhone and iPad devices.
With Google and Amazon both rapidly building their own eco-systems, offering music, TV and movies to their users, Apple is keen to keep users happy on iDevices and expand its offerings.
Some attempts have been unsuccessful, for instance Apple has for a long-time courted TV providers with the chance to offer their shows over Apple TV, two small devices that can stream video directly to a television, which has only met with limited success.
It is speculated Apple will reveal the service at next week’s iPhone 5 launch, due on September 12 – perhaps as one of Apple’s fabled ‘one last thing’ which comes at the end of most product launches.
The WSJ, citing sources from within Apple, says the company is attempting to negotiate its own licensing deals with record companies, as well as offering features unavailable to rivals such as multiple plays per user.
AllThingsDigital, a respected technology site, said: ‘Apple will want more flexibility than those licenses provide, so it will need the labels’ permission for that.
‘That’s not a slam dunk but it’s quite doable, because the music industry has become a lot more flexible in the past few years. That’s what happens to an industry after a decade-plus of staggering decline.
‘And in any case the labels are happy to cut deals with Apple. Label chiefs used to blame Apple and its iTunes store for part of their decline, but they’ve gotten over that. And they like generating additional revenue streams.’