Cloud // Software as a Service
News
6/3/2013
02:32 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Apple Music Deals Hint At Streaming Service

Reported licensing agreements with major music companies set the stage for Apple to challenge Google, Rdio and Spotify.

7 Slick Siri Alternatives
7 Slick Siri Alternatives
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple has reportedly reached licensing deals with Warner Music Group and Warner Chappell, making it more likely the technology company will launch a music streaming service, perhaps as soon as next week at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

CNET and the New York Times reported Sunday that Apple has reached an agreement with Warner Music Group and continues to negotiate with Sony. According to the New York Times, Apple has partially concluded a streaming-rights licensing deal with Universal Music Group, one that includes payment arrangements for recorded songs but not for song publishers.

An Apple spokesman in an email declined to comment.

Apple is believed to be working on a service called iRadio that will compete with the likes of Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music All Access, launched at Google I/O 2013 in May. It remains to be seen how much Apple will focus on social features, given the company's past failure with its Ping music social network.

[ What's on Google's playlist? Read Google I/O Day 1: Music, Maps, Search, Social. ]

If Apple turns iRadio into a success, interest in streaming could cannibalize the company's iTunes Music download business. But data released last year by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems suggests that so far streaming services aren't harming music download revenues.

Streaming music services allow users to listen to an "unlimited" amount of music that's limited by the amount of bandwidth available from the user's ISP. At an estimated 72 MB per hour, streaming songs all day, every day could use up about 52 GB of bandwidth per month. That's about a fifth of the 250 GB per month that Comcast defines as excessive usage, so constant music streaming shouldn't be a problem unless the user also engages in other high-bandwidth activities like streaming or downloading movies.

In contrast to iCloud, which Apple makes available without ads at no cost (with extra storage offered for a fee), Apple's iRadio is expected to be ad supported and may also have a paid premium tier. Several years ago it appeared that Apple intended for online advertising to become a major revenue stream. But its iAd service has been slow to take off. This can be attributed to the strength of Google's mobile ad offerings, to Apple's decision to focus on campaigns worth over $1 million at rollout, and to the appeal of in-app purchasing as an alternative monetization scheme for mobile apps.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The next wave in APM
The next wave in APM
Find out how to get the benefits of application monitoring while avoiding the complexity and performance headaches.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government, May 2014
NIST's cyber-security framework gives critical-infrastructure operators a new tool to assess readiness. But will operators put this voluntary framework to work?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.