Apple appears to be closing deals left and right to get everything in place for a reveal of a music streaming service at WWDC 2013 on June 10th where we also expect to see iOS 7. Apple could pair this service with Siri for a leg up on the entrenched competition.
Apple’s music streaming service, which many outside the company are calling iRadio, would reportedly offer a streaming radio experience similar to Pandora and the free version of Spotify.
Over the weekend news arrived from multiple sources that Apple landed new agreements from Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, though the company is reportedly still at the table with Sony and Sony ATV. The news comes from The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal.
While Apple’s iTunes and iPod are often credited with kicking off the digital music boom (along with rampant online downloading) the company behind the iPhone remains a non-player in the latest trend of streaming music on personalized Internet radio stations and subscription music services that give users access to a vast library of music.
Apple may be late to the game, but it could offer deeper integration with the iPhone, Siri and the rest of the iOS operating system than competitors. Apple CEO Tim Cook claims Apple is planning to open iOS to some extent, but similar claims from Apple in the past were nothing more than empty promises.
If Apple launches iRadio at WWDC 2013 as part of iOS 7, or even as a standalone service available later that week, the company will likely play up support for Siri. Siri cannot currently control music services like Pandora, Spotify and the forthcoming Google Play All Access for iPhone app.
Apple could allow users to quickly play a favorite radio station with Siri while driving, much like Zooey Deschanel asked Siri to play Shake Rattle and Roll in her Siri ad.
In an ode to the iPhone’s early days as a mobile music player Apple highlights music in the latest iPhone ad to hit airwaves. While the iPhone 5 – Music Everyday ad doesn’t talk about iRadio or any music streaming service the ad sets the stage for a new music feature to arrive and offer more music on the iPhone.
Rumors suggest iRadio will offer a music streaming service like Pandora and the free version of Spotify which let users pick an artist or a song and listen to similar music. The service will reportedly be free and could push users towards buying tracks on iTunes. At this point the iRadio service doesn’t appear to be an unlimited on demand music service like Google Play All Access, Spotify Premium and Rhapsody.