Apple is planning to finally reveal their answer to the music streaming market next week at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWCD) in San Francisco, Calif. Over the past year, rumors have been circulating that they will unveil iRadio, a music streaming system that could finally put them in competition with Pandora and Spotify. So, could we finally see the downfall of Pandora or Spotify?
Anticipation of iRadio's release dropped Pandora's stocks 5.5% this past Tuesday. Since last Friday the company's stock has sunk more than 15% to $14.38 a share.
Pandora CFO Mike Herring addressed Apple's impending product at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology Conference in San Francisco, "We're waiting, like the rest of you, to find out what they're going to do...we'll compete against any real or imaginary competitor just the way we always have."
Pandora's stocks also fell around the time Google was prepping to launch their streaming service. However, after Google Play Music All Access was released, Pandora's fears were quickly quelled as there were glaring differences between the two services.
The iPhone and iPod were not the first of their kind but Apple took and improved the already existing smart phones and MP3 players and upgraded their products to stand out in the competitive market.
Pandora and Spotify already offer free music streaming with limited commercial interruptions. Spotify premium users for a small monthly fee actually have the capabilities to sync their music playlists to their computer so that they can listen to their music on any of their devices without wifi connection. Even Apple's own iCloud enables users to download their already bought music to anyone of their devices.
News reports indicate Warner Music is the only group who has settled agreements for both music and publishing rights. Universal Music has only signed a deal for music rights, and currently Apple is still in talks with Sony Music Entertainment. Licensing fees have been an issue for music companies when it comes to streamed music and reportedly companies want higher percentages from Apple, as much as 10% of profits.
Nothing has been concretely said by Apple itself whether a launch of iRadio will for sure happen next week or not, but perhaps the long awaited iRadio could really be coming soon to a device near you.