Apple has yet to make its move into the on-demand streaming music space, but behind the scenes it’s clearly getting all its ducks in a row ready for any launch. Witness its work with some labels to provide pre-release streams of new albums on iTunes, linked to pre-orders. The latest artist to benefit is Local Natives – notable because they’re signed to independent label Infectious Music rather than one of the majors. Their new album ‘Hummingbird’ is streamable now on iTunes a week before its release and is available for purchase on the 28th. It’s an open secret that Apple has warned several labels off running such pre-release streams with services like Spotify, but the company is clearly keen to strike some of these deals itself – while also testing iTunes’ streaming infrastructure capabilities.

EarPods and phone

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