Apple's streaming radio product could debut early next year

Apple looks ready to challenge Pandora as talks with major music labels intensify.

News of Apple’s move into stream first surfaced last month. Bloomberg reports that revenue-sharing discussions are underway and a deal could be reached by mid-November, with Apple starting service in the first quarter of 2013.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is using its muscle to receive more flexible licensing agreements with record companies than those of Pandora. Pandora’s “compulsory license” limits users’ ability to skip and re-play artists. In addition, Apple is pushing for earlier access to new releases.

The streaming service is expected to be free to use, compatible across all of Apple’s devices, and supported by Apple’s iAd Network. “If Apple offers a radio product, it will be far superior to anything else on the market,” said outside analyst Rich Greenfield.



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