Apple's streaming audio service delayed

With Google now expected to launch its YouTube music service late this year, it seems imperative for Apple to get in and make a name for itself first with its own service. Unfortunately, that early launch is looking less and less likely.

That's according to the New York Times, which claims the heavily-rumoured streaming audio service was planned to appear early this year, possibly as soon as the first quarter of 2013. It now looks like the project, dubbed iRadio, will be arriving in the summer, maybe even later. Which means it could be a selling point of the rumoured iPhone 5S.

When it does arrive, it was said to be a preloaded app, delivering a free stream of songs tailored to each user’s taste and supported through Apple's iAds advertising platform.

All of which sounds great. So why the delay? That's down to rights. Sources close to talks have indicated that there has been slow progress in licensing negotiations with record companies, particularly with one key publisher, Sony/ATV, which also controls the EMI publishing catalogue. That particular organisation negotiates outside of the rights organisations, so is a stumbling block to any overall deal.

Until it is sorted, Apple will just have to sit and wait. But if it's any consolation, Google is likely to have the same issues too.

Sources: Engadget and New York Times

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