Apple is reportedly stepping up its plans to launch a new music service, tentatively called iRadio, later this year with talks in progress with the three main music companies – Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony.
The service, which would rival the likes of Spotify and Pandora, will reportedly be free and paid for by advertising. As reported by advanced-television.com in December 2012, Richard Greenfield, Media Analyst at BTIG Research, writing in the BTIG blog, said that following the November 29 launch of iTunes 11 and a series of industry executive meetings, it was increasingly clear that Apple wouldlaunch an iRadio service in 2013. “While Pandora investors may have breathed a sigh of relief when iTunes 11 did not include an iRadio service, at launch, as some had speculated, we believe Apple is laying the groundwork for such a product in the first half of 2013,” he suggested.
The analyst says that Apple’s iTunes 11 has made the current generation ‘Radio’ product far more prominent, adding it to the horizontal feature bar that runs across the top of the screen. “We continue to believe an iRadio product is critical for Apple to create a local advertising/commerce strategy, tying together Maps, Passbook, Siri and a new music service (which we are calling iRadio for now),” concluded Greenfield.