Apple could launch its long-rumored iRadio service as soon as this summer, finally giving iTunes a streaming music app to take on Pandora and Spotify.
"iRadio is coming. There's no doubt about it anymore," an unnamed music industry source told The Verge.
The report says that Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch of the streaming music app after making "significant progress" in talks with two top labels, Universal and Warner.
Another Apple rumor from today pins the iPhone 5S launch event to June 20, so the company's apparent push to have an iRadio app present at the event would make sense.
iRadio app negotiations
Apple has reportedly low-balled record labels in negotiations, and the record labels have, in turn, allegedly rebuffed the Apple and its ability to launch iRadio.
The initial offer from Apple is said to have been as low as 6 cents per 100 songs streamed when the Copyright Royalty Board's fair rate for non-broadcast companies is 21 cents per 100 songs.
To give some perspective, Pandora pays 12 cents per 100 songs streamed, while Spotify pays 35 cents per 100 songs streamed.
Whether or not Apple secures a much better deal than all of the other music streaming services out there, the unprofitable Pandora and Spotify are going to be seeking reduced licensing fees.
This will especially be the case if Apple's iRadio app takes on the internet radio spectrum.