back to article Apple declares WAR on Spotify: iRadio bags streaming rights

Apple is reportedly finalising plans for an internet radio station that will launch the fruity firm into a bitter conflict with streaming music services offered by Spotify, Google and Pandora. Cupertino has signed a deal with Universal Music Group granting Apple the rights to UMG's recorded music but not to any music …


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  1. nuked

    Can't help but feel they are too late to the party with this one, and surely this is just going hit iTunes revenue..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I doubt they are late, they will bundle / lock in with iTunes. That's one heck of bunch of sheep, sorry customers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You miss the point - the aim is to encourage people to listen to music then 'buy' it via iTunes.

  2. fero

    Lady Gaga was reported to have received just over £100 from Spotify in 2009 after her song Poker Face was played more than a million times.

    How does that amount compare to a million listens on terrestrial radio?

    1. Don Dumb

      Artist or label?

      Parent quote - "Lady Gaga was reported to have received just over £100 from Spotify in 2009 after her song Poker Face was played more than a million times.

      How does that amount compare to a million listens on terrestrial radio?"

      Not only that but how much did her record company receive? Is the service not paying its fair share or is the artist simply not getting their fair cut of the share?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Artist or label?

        Or is it tax optimization?

      2. Dr.S

        Re: Artist or label?

        The payment to an artist from Spotify is split into two different parts:

        1. 10% roughly goes to the collecting agency that represents the composers of lyrics and music. This is then paid to the artist by the collecting agency at regular intervals.

        2. The rest goes to the record label, who in turn pays a portion of it to the artist, but this is of course entirely dependent on what the contract between the artist and their label looks like. Some artists get close to 90% of the Spotify revenue, some get less than 10%.

        Spotify does not go public with how much they pay to each label per "listen" or "hit", nor do the labels. It is known that the payment is not consistent between labels though. Each label has their own deal with Spotify and they are quite secretive about its contents, making research into the field a bit challenging.

        In Sweden 2012 the rate was unofficially reported to have been between four and six "öre" each time a tune was listened to. (An "öre" is roughly 0,001 Euro, provided I get my commas right). In small country like Sweden, a popular song could have around 300.000 hits per day back in 2012. Over all, Spotify has become the number one revenue post for artists in Sweden.

        The rate varies from year to year depending on Spotify's success, and back in 2009 it was pretty abysmal compared to 2012. The payment to lady Gaga is an oft-quoted figure that represent one of the payments from the swedish collecting agency, STIM, during 2009 and is hardly representable of what Spotify revenue in total means to an artist today.

    2. Michael B.

      Radio Rates

      Well here is an example of the royalty rates for Radio play in the UK

      One play of the song could easily reach a multiple of million people on Radios 1 and 2 so 100 quid for a million plays is actually over charging a little if you compare it to radio rates. Though they probably factor in an on-demand premium to charge Spotify more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Radio Rates

        Am I reading this right, if I were to have a 3 minute song played just once on BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 I would get a check for £39.46?

        And...if I own a music venue and get a band in to play, I still have to pay the PRS even though I can pay the band directly? I'm all for supporting artists and making sure they dont get ripped off, but the PRS seem to be taking the piss here!

        Also, slightly different, but those short 15 second Tesco adverts with a blast of a well known tune, do the artists get money for that or is it too short to require payment?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Radio Rates

          Taking the piss, what are you on about?!

          These hard-working, job-creating, up-standing PRS (Personal Returns (before) Sound) folks of Britain are looking after the little guy, don't you know!

          For every £12 CD the little guy is allowed 12p (uppitiness has to be STOPPED!) and seeing no-one buys CDs anymore, that's stopped that outlay.

          We decide if you have the right to play a song, not the law! If you paid for it once then paying for it again shouldn't be a surprise!!

        2. wondermouse

          Re: Radio Rates

          "... those short 15 second Tesco adverts with a blast of a well known tune, do the artists get money for that or is it too short to require payment?"

          They certainly should. For every piece of music played on a radio commerical, the advertiser has to supply appropriate PRS details. Part of former job was to ensure that this was indeed provided. Compilation albums such as Now... were a nightmare, and clever dance-orientated ones that mixed several tracks for one 20- or 30-second spot were horrible.

          We once had 11 sets of PRS details for ONE 30 second commercial!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bit late

    I struggle to see the point really - in music radio at least. With something like the 'TuneIn radio app' you can have access to an apparently bottomless list of radio stations, real or virtual only that cater to just about every shade of audience taste in music and presentation style imaginable. I find the idea of a single service that seems likely to stick to the usual, tired formula of pushing a mix of whatever they're most financially incentivised to promote (usually repeatedly, ad bloody nauseum) incredibly unappealing. And if anything puts flashing blinking web ads in the shade, its in-line audio ads.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Turtle

    Subs vs Ads

    The only rates that subscription-supported streaming will ever be able to pay are rates that are practically indistinguishable from "nothing". We will have to see how much ads will cost on the Apple streaming service to know if the income it generates will be any more generous than that of Spotify or Pandora.

  6. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "Despite the enormous popularity of streaming music, it is not particularly lucrative for performers and songwriters."

    But having heard the song streamed a few times, some of us then go buy it.

    1. Euchrid

      re: "But having heard the song streamed a few times, some of us then go buy it."

      That was pretty much the idea behind Spotify, people would go onto buying music after hearing it - however, sales generated in this way were much lower than anticipated and IIRC, Spotify no longer bothers with running an online store.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "But having heard the song streamed a few times, some of us then go buy it."

      WOW thats so retro!

    Thumb Up

    Please make it cheaper than Spotify

    Am I the only one who thinks that Spotify has become arrogant? High Costs and collection that even Deezer seems to have newer content

    Hopefully this will give the much needed competition

    1. jason 7

      Re: Please make it cheaper than Spotify

      £4.95 a month too much for you then?

      How much do you pay a month for your Phone?

      How much was that Pret sandwich and coffee you had for lunch?

      Just saying.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Please make it cheaper than Spotify

        @jason 7 - not if you want to use it on a mobile device it isn't, more like £9.95

        1. jason 7

          Re: Please make it cheaper than Spotify

          Oh no that's like two coffees and two sandwiches!

          All that music for less than the cost of one CD a month.

          Yeah..I'm still not really seeing the pain here.

          You want it for free I guess?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please make it cheaper than Spotify

      "Hopefully this will give the much needed competition"

      Eh? Do you live in a hole?

    3. I like noodles

      Re: Please make it cheaper than Spotify

      Spotify already has competition - after trying out every freebie period I could find to do a comparison of streamers on android, I opted for rdio and I think it's pretty good.

  8. Don Jefe

    The One Thing

    For several years I have made most of my music purchases based on what I hear on Pandora. It does a good job of identifying music I like but have never heard of and is the most effective music sales tool I've experienced. Even though I use iTunes for purchases I can't see me getting away from Pandora for exploring, I think they've nailed it.

  9. Charles Calthrop

    How do you make lady gaga cry?

    poker...I mean, tell her her royalties from spotify

    I'm here all week 9-5

    1. wikkity

      Re: I'm here all week 9-5

      for the best, don't give that day job ok ;-)

  10. arrbee

    Hohum, another source of unlicensed material for musicians to monitor

    - just because its a major record company supplying the music doesn't mean that they actually have the right to do so (although in such cases its not piracy, you understand, its an administrative oversight).

    1. Don Jefe

      Would you care to elaborate on how the owner of the music doesn't have the right to sell it? Inquiring minds want to know.

  11. Frankee Llonnygog

    Apple introduces new Macbooks at WWDC

    Closely followed by 'Intel previews next generation of Ultrabooks'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple introduces new Macbooks at WWDC

      "Apple introduces new Macbooks at WWDC

      Closely followed by 'Intel previews next generation of Ultrabooks'"

      What are you trying to say?

  12. Jonathan 29

    Google Offering

    Credit it where it is due Google's All Access radio is very good. The success of Apple radio I think will partly depend on how quickly they launch outside of the US. I used to love Pandora, but gave up with it once it stopped working in the UK. I am also hoping they bundle radio with the music match sub.

  13. andy mcandy

    We knew you were trouble when you walked in...

    goat edition?

    C&P link into youtube, its worth it. just make sure your speakers are turned up loud!!

  14. Chairo

    They did it before

    They will convince the music labels to change the business model to agency contracts with a “most favoured nation” clause and voila - stupid consumer sheeps get a nice shaving and everyone earns more.

  15. MissingSecurity

    Few things to note...

    1) Top Artists need to notice that there are a lot of great "not signed artists" available to people. If I don't want to listen to Lady Gaga, with Spotify, I don't have too and those we are told are the best or were only available for us through music industry screening process are now competing with people just as dedicated and talented as them.

    2) Digital media is cheap to produce and make available than physical media, you no longer get the benefits of limited store shelves to artificially inflate record sales. "Top Artists" get the benefit of priority play on the radio, but with streaming radio (and paid service) I don't have to listen to people I don't want to (and I am pretty damn open on the range of music I like).

    3) I enjoy the low monthly payments for access to nearly all the music I want and listen too. It won't drive to go out an buy the CD, but I feel no need to go pirate it either.

    I hope we don't see a divided music base requiring subs for certain develops just so we can get our full range of music (although it feels that way sometimes), but I certainly enjoy the streaming so far.

  16. h3

    For dance music the Nokia WP App is pretty good. (You put in a few artists and it gives you tons of stuff that is like it but not those artists pretty good). Doesn't work well for normal music though.

  17. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Am I the only one?

    who's just so not interested in this? Crap music, played by crap artists over a tinny little loudspeaker ...

    I think Lady Gaga's $100 royalty says a lot more about Spotify than it does about Lady G. IRadio will have nothing to do with paying the Artists, it's all about Apple and the music companies. It's ironic really that Apple the computer company stole their name and logo from Apple the record company ...

    1. TwoWolves

      Re: Am I the only one?

      Agreed. Personally it's the bit-rate that I can't stand.

    2. jason 7

      Re: Am I the only one?

      Dunno about you but I currently have Spotify playing the Rolling Stone's Gimme Shelter through my Meridian/Monitor Audio Hi-Fi and it sounds great to me.

  18. Potemkine Silver badge

    Artists vs music companies

    Lady Gaga may have got £100 only, but how much did get her music company?

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