Analysis

Latest Apple iRadio speculation zeroes in on Sony/ATV


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There was no Pandora-killing personal radio service in Apple’s iPhone 5 or iOS 6 software, as had been rumoured. But speculation continues to swirl around the company’s plans to add a streaming element to its iTunes offering.

The New York Post lit a fire on Friday with its claim that Apple had been planning to build such a service into its iPhone 5, but that the plans were “dramatically dashed when talks between the tech giant and Sony/ATV hit a last-minute snag”.

Citing multiple sources, the Post suggests that per-song royalties were the sticking point, and reiterates previous speculation that Apple was negotiating with labels and publishers in order to add extra features to its personal radio service – above and beyond those possible with a standard ASCAP/BMI licensing deal of the kind that Pandora uses.

“Apple is talking about more flexible licenses than Pandora’s since it would allow the tech giant to point people directly to its iTunes store to generate sales,” suggests the piece. “Apple’s streaming licenses would also allow it to play a selected artist more times than Pandora’s rights allow it to.”

It predicts that the service will still launch as part of an iOS software update in the coming months. The article also focuses on the separate industry rumour that Sony/ATV will pull out of ASCAP and BMI in January 2013, which would have far-reaching ramifications for the digital market.

Apple’s streaming plans may seize the headlines, but the bigger trend of evolving publisher approaches to the digital music market – for better or worse – is just as important.

Stuart Dredge

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One response
  • Anon. says:

    My experience with Sony/ATV says that this doesn’t come as a surprise at all. Their lack of a general understanding of the internet and economics is astounding!

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