Warner Music and Apple make a deal. iRadio is coming?

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1565596/warner-music-group-inks-iradio-deal-for-publishingiradio

Back on the 9th of May, Warner and Apple inked a deal allowing Apple to stream Warner Music properties online much like Pandora and Spotify do right now. This could clear the way for more agreements with other rights holders such as Sony.

A music streaming service with Apple could go either way in my opinion. We could have a massive hit like most things Apple tries but it could also fail miserably like Ping, Apple’s failed attempt at social media based around the iTunes catalogue.

In my opinion, I think Apple is late to the game and this may not help them at all as most people interested in music streaming services already know about the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and in some cases Soundcloud. The key factors that will make or break this service will be the size of the catalogue, the design of the interface and the pricing combined with the terms of use. Apple has the catalogue to support most popular tastes and they have often been pretty good at industrial design which leaves the pricing model and user access/freedom up for scrutiny. Looking back over Apple’s efforts when it comes to value for money it has not bent over backwards to meet the consumer even half way. Even with the tremendous clout Apple has when it comes to negotiating prices with suppliers and studios Apple seems to ensure that every single product with the Apple name on it is designed purely for profit and lots of it. This will be another potential income stream for the technology giant and Apple can use the radio service as a vehicle for advertising and further iTunes store sales.

Pricing for ad supported streaming looks like it will be free and you may have the option to remove ads for a fee (monthly subscription is my guess).

For me, I love my spotify thank you very much and for regular shows that I love to tune into I have podcasts.

Thankfully, I feel less boxed in to the Apple ecosystem and more free to choose other devices as needed.

That said, I still use the odd Apple product now and then. Kind of an occupational hazard.

UPDATE – It is expected that iRadio will be announced at the World Wide Developer Conference next week on 10th June in San Francisco.

Pandora shares have lost ground on speculation that iRadio is coming out.