WSJ: Apple Planning Music Service To Rival Pandora
September 7, 2012
Apple is reportedly in talks to launch its own streaming music service, which would compete with Pandora. Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that Apple is in discussions to license music for a new service that would let users create their own custom stations. The service would work on all of Apple's many devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. One source says the service would possible work on Windows-based PCs, but probably not devices running Google's Android OS.
The WSJ notes that several digital music services, including Clear Channel's iHeartRadio and Spotify, have branched out with Pandora-like features over the past year. But Apple's reach could make it the most serious threat to Pandora yet.
While Apple has contemplated new music features in the past, including a service similar to Spotify, the paper's sources say these new talks appear to be more serious that those previous tentative projects. The Apple service would include ads, carried by the iAd platform.
Apple is reportedly negotiating for its own licensing deals with the record labels, "because it wants to offer users a greater degree of interactivity than allowed by so-called compulsory licenses used by Pandora and other webcasters," according to the WSJ. However, the paper notes that Apple only began these negotiations recently and even if it does reach agreements with the labels, it could be months before any service is actually launched.
Apple attempted its own music-based social networking service, Ping, in 2010, but the service never truly caught on and is reportedly being phased out of the iTunes software by year's end.