The U.S. Justice Department is in the process of deciding whether to revise the laws regarding music royalty rates — changes that could have an effect on Apple's streaming music offerings Beats Music and iTunes Radio.
Apple may bolster its streaming media services with the addition of technology and talent from Swell, a personalized news radio application currently available for iPhone, which it is said to have bought for $30 million.
In an announcement during the "Un-Carrier 5.0" press conference on Wednesday, T-Mobile skipped the wait and went straight to "Un-Carrier 6.0," a program that lets customers stream music from top Internet radio services without having the data used count against their allotted monthly plans.
Amid the furor of Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats, pundits asked why the Cupertino company would sink so much capital into what amounts to a brand name. A report on Thursday now claims a shortsighted and credulous iTunes management team put out an inferior product in iTunes Radio, which in turn forced the acquisition.
Apple's mobile advertising efforts are expected to increase this year, when the company is reportedly planning to have locally targeted ads air on iTunes Radio, and will also begin promoting iTunes content through its own iAd network.
While Beats may be best known for its headphones, Apple made it clear in announcing its $3 billion acquisition of the company on Wednesday that its real interest lies in the subscription Beats Music streaming service, which will complement Apple's existing iTunes offerings.
Continuing with ongoing reports and speculation surrounding Apple's rumored buy of Beats Electronics, a report on Friday claims the music company's cofounders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, would likely net senior positions in Cupertino if a deal does indeed happen.
Proponents of Apple's rumored interest in Beats Electronics have cited the company's recognizable brand, its dominance of the premium headphone market, and its unique new Beats Music service as positive potential additions for the iPhone maker.
Beats Music, the streaming radio arm of the Beats empire, updated its iPhone app on Friday with the notable addition of in-app subscriptions, meaning the company is now paying Apple's usual 30 percent commission on new sign-ups.
Facing significant declines in digital music sales, Apple is reportedly plotting a potential overhaul of its iTunes Music Store, in addition to considering new revenue opportunities through on-demand streaming and even allegedly an iTunes for Android.
While Apple's iTunes Radio is set by default to block songs with explicit language from streaming, the current filters are far from perfect, with profane content slipping through the cracks to the surprise of some listeners.
In a supposed bid to bolster declining iTunes music sales, Apple is in talks with major record labels to launch a Spotify-like on-demand streaming service, as well as an official iTunes app for the Android mobile operating system.
Internet radio service Pandora is heavily dependent on Apple hardware, with about 40 percent of listeners accessing the service through an Apple device. And yet the launch of Apple's competing iTunes Radio last September has not stopped Pandora from continuing to grow.
Apple's iTunes Radio has carved out 8 percent of the U.S. streaming music market, placing it ahead of popular service Spotify and just behind second-place iHeart Radio, according to newly released data.
Amazon recently initiated discussions with major music labels in an effort to kickstart a streaming service for its paying Prime members, one report says, possibly signaling the entry of yet another service into the crowded Internet radio space.