This evening The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is looking to develop a “Pandora-rival custom radio service.” The service would be available through Apple’s line of iOS devices along with Macs. They even noted possible support for computers running the Windows operating system. The source noted was “people familiar with the matter.”
Such a streaming music service allows users to create their own virtual radio stations of a specific genre they enjoy. I would imagine Apple makes the service free (using iAd for advertisements), especially if they want to compete with Pandora directly.
At this point, the WSJ says Apple is negotiating deals with individual record companies. Pandora currently pays rates set by the government, Apple though wants a lower price than the current set price-tag.
Apple’s outsized presence in online-music sales and massive installed base of MP3 players, smartphones, tablets and computers could make it a much more serious threat to Pandora than any of its current would-be rivals.
Apple only recently initiated licensing negotiations with record labels for its putative service, and even if it does complete deals, it could be a matter of months when such a service might launch, according to these people.
The company has in the past contemplated and abandoned other interactive features, including a Spotify-like service that would have let users rent unlimited amounts of music for a fixed monthly fee. But people familiar with the current talks say they appear to be more serious than those previous tentative inquiries.
Currently there isn’t any indication of where this service will be available initially. If you’re aware, many popular streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify aren’t available in Canada.
We don’t have a timeline for a release, but we will keep you updated with the report.