Apple’s iTunes music store has been a huge success, but it’s hard not to see subscription or ad-based streaming radio services like Spotify, Rdio, and even Pandora as attractive alternatives. To counter that, it looks like Apple is finally preparing its own streaming internet radio service.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “people familiar with the matter” have confirmed that Apple is in direct talks with record labels to secure the desired breadth of artists for the streaming service. Since streaming radio deals are usually different from direct download deals, Apple will have to negotiate entirely new arrangements with each label to launch this new service.
When it does launch, it will reportedly stream music to most Apple devices, including Macs, iPads, iPhones, and internet-connected iPod touches. It may also support Windows PCs, but that’s far from certain. Interestingly, The Wall Street Journal suggested that it definitely will not work with Android phones or tablets.
The report does not include many details about how the service will work beyond that, but stay tuned. If Apple is successful in securing the agreements it needs to launch the service, the company might announce more when it reveals the new iPhone 5 next week. Here’s to hoping.