Apple is intent on throwing its hat into the music streaming business, not long after mega-rival Google launched its own Google Play Music All Access. The unofficially dubbed "iRadio" (though nothing could be worse than Google's name) has been seeing trouble in getting off the ground due to negotiations with the major music labels taking longer than anticipated.
According to The New York Times, Apple currently has deals in place with Warner Music for both recorded music and music publishing, which deals with royalty payments to songwriters. They have a deal for recorded music with Universal, but not for publishing. They are still negotiating for both with Sony.
One of the main issues of contention is that the labels want Apple to pay much higher licensing fees than is usual for streaming services, as well as work out how royalties would be paid if songs were skipped after part had been played.
Labels are also eager to get "iRadio" running because of the ease with which users would be able to purchase music due to iTunes being worked into the streaming service somehow.
According to TechCrunch, Apple's streaming service would be free and ad-supported. Music would be chosen based on user preferences, similar to Pandora.
Apple is supposedly hoping to finalize all negotiations by next Monday, June 10, so that they can officially announce their streaming service at their Worldwide Developers Conference.