Sony reportedly joins iRadio for WWDC unveiling

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The New York Times on Monday reported that Apple was rushing to close iRadio deals so it could announce the service during the WWDC 2013 keynote next Monday. The iPhone maker had previously signed the necessary music licensing agreements with the Warner Music Group in June and with Universal Music Group last weekend.

Notably absent from iRadio lineup: Sony Music Entertainment. CNET asserted that rough licensing negotiations between Apple and Sony Music have been stalling iRadio talks as a song skipping feature reportedly posed a major stumbling block for the record label. Fortunately, per a new report Friday, having resolved their differences the two parties have now found the middle ground…

AllThingsD has the scoop:

Sony Music has signed on to Apple’s forthcoming iRadio service, according to a person familiar with negotiations between the two companies.

As the author Peter Kafka explains, this means that Apple now has agreements with all three major music labels. However, the company has still to reach a deal with Sony’s separate publishing arm, Sony/ATV.

According to Kafka, “the gaps between Sony/ATV and Apple were supposedly smaller” than the ones Sony Music and Apple were looking at a few days ago so it’s possible that Apple is now very close to closing a deal with Sony/ATV.

As things stand now, an iRadio announcement at WWDC is very likely. For what it’s worth, Kafka says Apple will only tell developers about iRadio at WWDC so a consumer launch will presumably follow some time later.

According to AdAge, the free of charge service will make money by charging advertisers to inject both in-app iAds and traditional audio ads into people’s music. It’s still a bit murky whether we’ll be able to pay a monthly fee to get rid of advertising.

At any rate, iRadio will give you more control of your songs than standard web radio services like Pandora, but less than full-blown services such as Spotify, the article concludes.