Apple has reportedly inked a deal with Sony Music that will bring the label’s content to the much-rumored “iRadio” streaming service, insiders claim, paving the way for an official launch at Monday’s WWDC 2013 keynote. Sony Music had been a hold-out in discussions, but has now settled on an agreement with Apple, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told AllThingsD, giving the Cupertino firm the support of the three key labels.
Rumors earlier this month suggested that, despite ongoing talks between Apple and Sony Music, the two companies were “far apart” in their discussions. That was putting Apple’s targeted WWDC 2013 reveal of the streaming music service at risk, insiders warned.
Now, though, it seems Sony Music has joined Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group in agreeing on terms, and giving Apple what’s believed to be a sufficiently broad catalog to green-light iRadio. Still holding out, as of earlier in the week, was Sony/ATV, though the differences in opinion between that label and Apple were apparently “smaller” than those between it and Sony Music.
Other labels are expected to fall into line accordingly.
Unofficially dubbed iRadio, the entertainment service has been a long-standing rumor as Apple has eyed the on-demand market currently populated by Pandora, Spotify, and others. The system is expected to operate more akin to Pandora than it is to Spotify, however, without offering complete playlist-building access to the entire catalog of tracks.
Nonetheless, with a huge footprint in mobile, iRadio could present a significant challenge to third-party rivals, especially if Apple prices the subscription fee aggressively. Details are expected – though not necessarily a launch – on Monday during the WWDC opening keynote; we’ll be liveblogging the whole thing, so join us for all the details as they’re announced.