iRadio Reportedly Launching This Summer

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I've posted quite a bit about Apple's proposed "iRadio" service, and why their lowball offer on royalties per song streamed may be justified. 

Put simply, if the Apple music service is anything like what's been described, it will drive music sales, while making the iPod (or the "Music" app on the iPhone) more indispensable than ever.

And now, it appears that iRadio is closer than ever - maybe arriving this summer. 

9to5Mac, citing The Verge, states that "significant progress" has been made in talks between Apple, Warner and Universal, and that Apple is pushing for a "summertime launch" for iRadio.  

This would be great for Apple - a company that, at the moment, seems to need a "hook" to get people to believe that they're still amazing

iRadio - A Win-Win-Win

For the reasons we've previously discussed, I believe that Apple iRadio will be a win-win-win - Apple, the music industry, and consumers will all benefit. 

Apple will get a flashy new proprietary iOS/OSX application, standard on every iDevice and moving to the forefront on iTunes. 

They'll finally be able to put all of that iTunes Genius data to good use - your Genius playlists won't be limited to the music in your library, but will also feature the "most relevant" of every song ever released.  

The music industry will make some money on streams, but will make more money on sales - both within the app, and indirectly through increased familiarity with particular songs. 

There is an inherent value in getting your music in front of listeners - in fact, music labels have been willing to pay radio stations directly to get their songs on the air, in ways both illegal (70's payola scandals) and above-board (sponsored content)

With iRadio, the record labels will be getting paid for marketing their songs. Not only that, but Apple's Genius database will ensure that specific songs are being marketed directly to the consumers most likely to buy them. 

Consumers will win, because a properly designed iRadio will expose us to new music we're likely to enjoy, while making it dead-simple to purchase that music. At the same time, iRadio will keep us engaged with music we've previously purchased. 

Now that the negotiations have started rolling, they'll be difficult to stop. iRadio will be launched in a few months, and we'll get to see it in action.

Hopefully, Tim and Jony will have a keynote to announce iRadio - but that's a subject for my next post.

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