(Photo : REUTERS/Lucas Jackson )
Apple currently has its hands full with a number of electronics products that are in high demand such as the iPad Mini and iPhone 5. But the Cupertino-based company is also working on bringing new services to its customers such as a streaming-radio platform that will compete with the likes of Pandora.
"Apple Inc. (AAPL) has intensified talks with major music labels to start an advertising supported streaming-radio competitor to Pandora Media Inc. (P) by early next year, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations," Bloomberg reported.
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Apple radio will be only available through an app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, and not through a standard web browser.
Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group Corp, and Sony Corp's music division were all said to be part of the negotiations that recently took place at Apple's headquarters.
It seems that Apple and the music labels are currently discussing how ad revenue would be shared and a deal is expected by mid-November. The Apple radio service could then be out within the first three months of 2013.
Apple's radio service would be more user-friendly than Pandora's, according to Bloomberg. While Pandora limits the number of skips and number of times an artist can be played in an hour, Apple's will apparently give users more freedom over what they're listening. Apple is also trying to gain access to newly-released tracks earlier.
"Radio is a natural step for Apple," Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG LLC in New York, told Bloomberg in an interview. "This helps Apple dominate in cars, where people listen to an average of two hours of radio a day."
Pandora, the current popular radio-streaming service, saw its shares plummet as reports about Apple's radio came out. Pandora's shares currently sit around $8.