Rumours persist that Apple will roll out music streaming service
Rumours first began circulating regarding an Apple music streaming service during the reign of Steve Jobs when it was reported that he had spoken with Jimmy Lovine, CEO of audio technology firm Beats. These rumours bubbled away under the surface throughout 2012, with Bloomberg even reporting that such as service could be ready to launch in early 2013. Recently Lovine spoke out about his meeting with Jobs, claiming that the former Apple CEO was put off by the idea of a streaming service due to the cost involved in paying royalties to the record companies.
Since then, rumours of such a service have gained momentum and this week they have swept across the web after it was reported that Lovine met with Apple CEO Tim Cook. While this meeting was reportedly to discuss Beats' upcoming music streaming service, Project Daisy, or a possible collaboration with Apple, rumours quickly began circulating that Apple was planning on rolling out its own music streaming service within iTunes. Weight was added to these rumours by the earlier discovery of a "Radio Button" sub-file named "buy" within a jail-broken iPhone.
Should Apple launch a music streaming service, it would bring the company into direct competition with established major music streaming names such as Grooveshark, Pandora, Spotify and many others in an already-crowded marketplace.
Following the rumours of Apple's proposed music streaming service, a report emerged in The New York Times claiming that the rumoured streaming service was delayed due to licensing negotiations with music companies. This report, which was based on "a number of people briefed on the talks" who "spoke on the condition of anonymity," was quickly picked up by tech blogs and other news sites around the world.
Following that, more alleged details began to emerge: tech site siliconrepublic.com reported that the negotiations were faltering due to an initial offer of six cents (RM0.19) per 100 songs by Apple, which was rejected by record labels, who wanted 21 cents per 100 songs. Apple's alleged low offer was also reported to be the main stalling point behind negotiations by the New York Post; for means of comparison, Spotify is reported to pay around 35 cents per 100 songs.
Despite Apple's having yet to confirm the existence of such a music streaming project, tech bloggers and journalists have been quick to name the product "iRadio" due to the manner in which Apple typically names its products.
Google enters the fray
Also earlier this week, the tech world's other major player, Google, was reported, in an exclusive on CNN Money's Fortune, to be planning on launching a subscription based music streaming service within YouTube "later this year."
According to the report, Fortune was briefed on the service by "sources in the record industry and at Google who declined to be named."
This would not be YouTube's (and by extension Google's) first partnership with the record industry through the popular YouTube service, which is a joint venture involving Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media, with EMI licensing content across the platform in return for a share of advertising revenue.
Though it is not clear how a YouTube streaming service would operate, or how it would slot into Google's business model alongside Vevo and streaming services offered via Google Play, a YouTube spokesperson did offer a statement in response to the Fortune report, which was quoted as reading, "While we don't comment on rumour or speculation, there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we're looking at that."
Though it is not clear what the future holds for either Apple or Google in the world of music streaming services, there is clearly money to be made from the service, with Warner Music alone attributing $54 million of the US$230 million it made from digital services to streaming services in its Reports Results for the Fiscal Third Quarter Ended June 30, 2012.- AFP-Relaxnews