Time and time again, we’ve fielded rumors of an Apple streaming music service. It’s coming, it’s not, labels are ecstatic, no licensing deals can be reached: it feels like we’ve been all over the board here. Today we’re back to looking at those licensing arrangements, with reports coming in that negotiations have been held up by Apple’s insistence on some bottom-basement royalties.
Supposedly, Apple only wants to pay six cents per 100 songs users stream. That’s just half of the twelve cents Pandora pays labels, and a tiny fraction of the thirty-five cents Spotify dishes out. Even in light of this, Apple doesn’t want to pay a competitive rate, and has been aiming to get special treatment.
The problem may be that the labels know just what kind of ridiculous cash reserves Apple is sitting on, so not only do they think that Apple is more than able to pay the same as everyone else, but they fear that bending to its demands could cause other companies to insist upon the same underpriced rates. For now, that leaves the ETA of an Apple streaming radio service an open ended question.