Apple Streaming Service Delayed

Apple’s plans to compete in streaming radio markets against stalwart companies Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio have been delayed after an agreement with publisher Sony/ATV and record labels failed to transpire, according to the New York Post.

Coupling with this news, Sony/ATV is reportedly planning to withdraw digital rights from ASCAP and BMI at the end of 2012, collecting compulsory licenses directly. This would follow a move made last year by EMI to pull digital license services away from its previous administer, ASCAP.

Apple’s plan to have its own music-streaming service built into the iPhone 5 was dramatically dashed when talks between the tech giant and Sony/ATV hit a last-minute snag.

Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher, and Apple couldn’t agree on a per-song rights fee.

At the same time, Sony/ATV is about to set the music streaming sector on its ear as it will pull out of the two main copyright associations, ASCAP and BMI, in January.

Apple’s talks with the labels involves an element of promotion based on what music labels are pushing in any one month. Apple is talking about more flexible licenses than Pandora’s since it would allow the tech giant to point people directly to its iTunes store to generate sales. Apple’s streaming licenses would also allow it to play a selected artist more times than Pandora’s rights allow it to.

Sony/ATV–owned by the Sony Corp. and the Michael Jackson estate–brings incredible leverage in negotiations especially since it recently acquired the EMI publishing catalog, now controlling rights to about 3 million songs.

In related Apple news, the company released the iPhone 5 in 22 additional countries today (9/28) with plans to be available in over 100 by the end of the year. In a rare statement of apology today (9/28), CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the dysfunction of the Apple Maps update associated with operating system changes surrounding the iPhone 5 release.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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