May 17, 2013
In a new report entitled, “How Google beat Apple to a streaming music service,” The Verge offers an in-depth look at why Apple’s so-called “iRadio” music streaming service is still missing, while Google’s is alive and well. The piece includes plenty for iOS device owners to get excited about. Unfortunately, it also includes news that many may find frustrating. The primary reason Google’s music service is online is because they “offer a standard subscription music service very similar to those built by Spotify and Rdio.” In other words, what makes Google Play Music All Access significant isn’t its list of features or music content. Rather, it’s that it comes from one of the largest technology companies on the planet. It also helps that Google paid advances to some of the major copyright owners. By contrast, Apple “is pioneering a hybrid web and radio service — one that resembles Pandora but melds it with some on-demand features." Because of this, negotiations between Apple and key stakeholders in the music business are “going to take longer.” How much longer? The Verge explains that all of the haggling could prevent Apple from launching iRadio at next month’s Worldwide Developers Conference. However, the “market momentum” still points to a launch sooner, rather than later. As reported earlier this month, the holdouts are Sony Music and Warner Music. In addition, The Verge confirms that BMG Rights Management is also holding out. Only Universal Music Group has signed a contract with Apple for iRadio. So where does this leave us? It sounds like Apple’s iRadio is going to be something unique, and shall I say, revolutionary, which is very exciting. On the downside, it could be that uniqueness that delays the service into the fall. As usual, we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, be sure to take a look at my full review of Google’s streaming music service.