NY Post: Licensing Deal Held Up New Apple Streaming Service
September 28, 2012
Apple had hoped to launch a new music streaming service in conjunction with its iPhone 5 this month, but a licensing issue reportedly held up its plans. According to the New York Post, talks between Apple and publishing giant Sony/ATV fell through at the last minute, as the two sides couldn't agree on a per-song rights fee. The Post's source says Sony/ATV was hoping for a higher rate than the usual tenths-of-a-penny per stream.
Apple needed to negotiates rights individually with publishing companies due to the nature of its planned service. Apple also lacks a deal for the rights from the labels on the recorded music side for its new streaming feature. This service will have more of a hands-on, curated element than Pandora's, where music is determined via algorithms. It would also allow the labels to promote new releases via the service, and point users towards buying songs via the iTunes Music Store. The new streaming service could still launch down the road as a new iPhone app.
Sources also tell the Post that Sony/ATV is planning to pull out of the two largest copyright associations, ASCAP and BMI, as of January. Leaving these copyright groups will make it harder for companies to negotiate rights deals going forward.
Sony/ATV recently acquired EMI Music Publishing as part of the sell-off of EMI and now holds over two million copyrights worldwide.