Apple has reportedly signed Sony/ATV Music Publishing, one of the largest music record labels in the world, onto the tech company's rumored Internet music streaming service, iRadio.
That means Apple has signed all three major music labels - Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group - onto iRadio. Apple's iRadio service is expected to be formally announced next Monday during Tim Cook's keynote speech at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference.
The deal, according to AllThingsD, apparently signs Sony/ATV Music Publishing onto a two-year introductory deal with Apple. The company will receive 10 percent of revenue generated through ads on Apple's iRadio service.
Apple has been pushing the major labels to sign onto its rumored service for some time, but music industry officials refused to sign any deals with Apple until they received a 10 to 15 percent cut of revenue generated by the service's ads.
iRadio will compete directly with Google's Google Play Music All Access service, Pandora Internet radio and Spotify, another music streaming service. It's unknown how the Cupertino-based company will compete, but it's widely believed that iRadio will operate as an ad-supported streaming service first.
The service, according to Billboard, will operate much like Pandora, letting users build their own stations based off of song and artist tastes. The service will then intertwine new and different bands, and ads, to a given station for a user to listen to. Unlike Pandora, however, iRadio will be available to a large swath of countries from its launch, according to CNET. The service could also let users rewind songs while they're playing.
Additional reports suggest that iRadio users will be able to make purchases directly through Apple's service, though it's unknown for how much.
Pandora's service, which has 70 million active users, is limited to the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. Currently, its users aren't allowed to rewind songs, and can only skip a few songs a day.
Citing a comScore survey, Reuters reports that listening to music is the fourth most popular media activity on smartphones. The most popular activities, according to comScore's February survey, is social networking, games and consuming news.