Apple's upcoming music streaming service to take on Pandora is said to be facing delays as the company works to finish negotiations with record companies.
According to the New York Times, Apple is still planning to launch the service, though it's not likely to be until this summer, if not later. The Cupertino-based company originally planned the service for early this year.
The new report says Apple still needs an agreement with Sony/ATV, which also controls EMI's publishing catalogue, to complete its stack of audio for the service. It is already close to securing Ascap and BMI, the performing rights organisations.
Earlier reports said the service, dubbed iRadio, would offer an application preloaded on iOS devices and songs based off users' listening interests. It is said to be being offered for free, as Apple plans to use its iAds advertising platform for revenue. Several references have already been found in internal iOS code.
Pandora leads the internet streaming service scene, followed by Spotify, RDIO, Last.fm and others. Given Apple's reach into the mobile market, such a service could seriously hurt other competitors' market share.
Google is also said to be launching a similar service that will utilise YouTube to offer songs for free, based on ads. The Mountain View-based company has already secured licensing deals with Warner studios.
One reason Apple may be having trouble securing the last agreements needed is that it has been seeking to undercut competitors' royalty feeds, according to the New York Post. Apple wants to offer 6 cents per 100 songs streamed by users, where Pandora pays 12 cents per 100 songs.
Could a WWDC announcement be on the way?
Image: Getty Images, Kevork Djansezian