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People Who Are Addicted To Music

Death to Pandora? Apple Secures All Label Licenses for iRadio…


…the deal means that Apple now has agreements with all three major music labels.”

Last week, Apple inked a deal with Warner Music Group.  Universal Music Group, which now encompasses EMI, was the first to say yes.

All of which sets the stage for an announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, though the Journal notes that Apple will only be showcasing the product to developers.  The fully-baked, consumer-ready souffle comes next.

But wait! What about Sony/ATV (which is completely different than Sony Music Entertainment)?  Here we enter the tricky world of music publishing, where Sony/ATV is leading the charge towards direct licensing and much, much higher rate demands.  Apparently the snags in those discussions are smaller.

So, kill Pandora, kill?  One ‘problem’ is that Apple is inking direct deals, which means labels and publishers could turn around and do the same with Pandora.  Actually, Sony/ATV has already done this, and extracted higher royalties from Pandora in the process.

And what if Apple decides to swipe Pandora off its iOS deck, sort of like YouTube?  “I don’t think we have any fear of losing distribution on any of the iOS platforms,” Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy recently told investors.  “That would be suicidal for Apple to remove Pandora from its platforms…  they’d have to compete with us straight up.”

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June 2013
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