On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook will step onto a stage in San Francisco for his company’s WWDC keynote, with anticipation high that the announcements will include Apple’s new streaming music service.
Yet the rumours of last-minute dealmaking are intensifying: Bloomberg claimed yesterday that Apple is still locked in negotiations with major labels.
It includes this specific claim: “In talks with Apple, the music labels are seeking a benchmark for negotiations with other services, including Spotify. The labels take 55 percent of Spotify’s monthly $9.99 rate, and publishers take about 15 percent. Labels are pushing for closer to 60 percent from Apple.”
Apple might be able to swallow 5% less margin, but the implications for those other services – and for publisher, who are agitating for a larger share of streaming revenues themselves – are likely to cause more controversy.
Bloomberg also fleshes out previous rumours about “Apple Connect”, which will see artists and labels able to post videos, songs and other content on their profile pages within the new service.
Separately, market research firm MusicWatch has published some figures suggesting that “Apple has some catching up to do” in the streaming space – in the US at least.
Its survey of 5,000 American internet users aged 13 and older found only 10% had used iTunes Radio in the last 12 months, behind Vevo (13%), iHeartRadio (15%), Spotify (16%), Pandora (35%) and YouTube to watch or listen to music (49%).
“Apple’s current iTunes Radio service accounts for just 5 percent of the listening hours among the major streaming services,” wrote MusicWatch’s Russ Crupnick. “In fact, three out of four iTunes Radio users also stream music from YouTube; and nearly the same proportion of iTunes Radio users also listen to Pandora.”
His company has also split out the data by iOS users, where iTunes Radio has been listened to by 21% in the last 12 months, compared to 20% for Spotify and 40% for Pandora.