Apple has finally signed a deal with Sony Music for its Apple iRadio music streaming service.
The iPhone 5 manufacturer now has all three major music labels on board for Apple iRadio, according to “a person familiar with negotiations”.
Now that the Cupertino company has signed a deal with Sony Music, Apple is in a prime position to officially announce its iRadio service at the WWDC Keynote on Monday, June 10.
The talks with Sony over royalty fees caused Apple some problems, delaying the release of iRadio. The second largest record label apparently believed that Apple should pay higher royalty fee than other services like Pandora, due to its highly established userbase and market dominance.
It was also suggested that Sony wanted to get paid for any songs offered to iRadio listeners, even if that song was cut short or skipped over entirely.
Of course, if Sony and Apple have finally reached an agreement, Apple still may have further problems, as it has yet to sign up Sony’s music publishing arm Sony/ATV.
Apple has already finalised royalty deals with the two other major music labels, Warner Music and Universal Music, having started the discussions in autumn last year. The royalty fee agreed between the companies is unknown.
To differentiate itself from rival services like Pandora or streaming services like Spotify, Apple iRadio will create customised radio stations created from the iTunes Store purchases made by each user.
The iPad mini manufacturer will also integrate the iTunes Store into the iRadio service, allowing customers to buy the songs directly from the radio app.
Reportedly, Apple is planning to include audio and text ads in the iRadio app for the upcoming iOS 7 to support the free elements within the service.
Any ads displayed will be targeted to the user’s listening habits and the purchases from iTunes or the App Store.
It is currently unknown whether Apple will be offering subscription tiers for its iRadio service that are ad-free, similar to the Free, Unlimited and Premium Spotify subscriptions.
Next, read WWDC 2013 – what to expect feature.