Apple reportedly reaches iRadio deal with Warner Music

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Citing sources “familiar with the negotiations,” a new report is out claiming that Apple has finally reached a deal with Warner Music over iRadio licensing terms. Warner was one of the three remaining label holdouts on Apple’s upcoming Pandora-like music service.

Rumors about the service have been flying about for months. It was expected to launch earlier this year, but Tim Cook and company have been having trouble reaching deals with the top four record labels. And now they are reportedly aiming for a WWDC launch…

Will it be ready in time? It sounds like Apple has it down to just two labels: BMG and Sony Music. Rumor has it that Universal has been on board for weeks now, and then there’s obviously today’s report from CNET that Apple has struck a deal with Warner.

“Apple struck a licensing deal Sunday with both Warner Music Group and its publishing arm, Warner Chappell, bringing Apple’s free Internet radio product that much closer to launching, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.”

So for those keeping score at home, Apple now [reportedly, obviously] has an iRadio deal in place with Warner and its publishing arm and Universal Music Group. But its publishing arm, and the label/ publishing houses of Sony and BMG have yet to get on board.

The last we heard, Sony and Apple were butting heads over how much will be paid for songs that users only listen to a fraction of and then skip. They also aren’t too keen on the fact that the iRadio service will allow users to fast-forward and rewind individual songs.

But it sounds like Apple will stop at nothing to have the service ready in time for WWDC later this month. Although earlier talks had it paying labels half of what Pandora does, today’s report from The New York Times says they’ll end up paying as much or even more.

WWDC is scheduled for June 10 through the 14, and Apple has confirmed that its OS X/iOS preview keynote will be held on opening day.