We continue to get information about iRadio, Apple’s rumored Pandora-like music streaming service. Yesterday, a report claimed that Apple may not be able to launch the service at the WWDC due to licensing issues with Sony Music, the world’s second largest music label.
CNET reports that according to their sources, Apple’s iRadio deal with Sony has stalled due to the song skipping feature.
Apple and Sony Music, the world’s second-largest music label, are still trying to hammer out details over how much Apple would pay for songs that people listen to a fraction of and then skip, according to people familiar with the negotiations. There could be other points of contention as well.
Apple’s streaming music service, which most closely resembles Internet radio leader Pandora, has some features built into it that give users added control, such as the ability to rewind a song and skip to the next after listening to a portion of it, sources say.
CNET points out that in case of Pandora, when a user gives a thumbs down rating or selects “I’m tired of this track” in the menu, those instances is counted as a skip. Pandora has to pay full royalties for the song even though the song has played for just a few seconds. That’s the reason Pandora restricts the number of skips for free accounts. It only allows 6 skips per hour per station or a maximum of 12 skips per day.
While it is not clear what Sony is asking for, it definitely looks like it wants better terms than what Apple has offered. If Apple agrees to Sony’s terms, then it could cause problems with its deals with Warner and Universal, but at the same time it is probably desperate to launch the service at WWDC after Google eclipsed it by launching Google Play Music All Access earlier this week.