A report tonight from the WSJ claims that Apple is currently in talks to license music in preparation for a custom radio service similar to Pandora.There are multiple similar services. Apple would bring with them the ability to roll-out a service across their wide portfolio of devices including iPhones, iPads and Macs.
These services allow users to create a station based upon selecting an artist. Apple might be able to leverage the access to a users iTunes library, making it easier and possibly more effective in delivering better results. Apple’s iTunes already uses these technology to provide Genius playlists and mixes. A streaming music service powered by Apple would also provide inroads to iTunes, should a user wish to purchase a track or album. It would also boost traction in online music, where a recent Nielson survey found that more adults stream over Pandora than use iTunes.
Sources say that Apple on recently started negotiations, so even if they were to wrap up quickly, it could be months before a service is rolled out. Due to the high royalty costs associated with offering these services, companies like Pandora are not fairing well. The company lost $5.4 million for the quarter that ended on July 31st. If Apple does enter the space, it could spell further trouble for Pandora, among others.