Still no iTunes 11, but reports of iStream continue

By | Published on Friday 26 October 2012


Apple reps said yesterday that the company is “looking forward” to launching its all new iTunes, first previewed last month, though didn’t say for certain when it would go live.

iTunes 11 was (and still is on the Apple website) billed to launch this month, and many expected it to go live during Apple’s product preview press event earlier this week, but in the end it wasn’t mentioned. It remains to be seen if the revamped software becomes available in the next week, though you might have thought the company’s reps would have been more specific yesterday if that was still the plan.

The earnings call also made no reference of plans for an Apple streaming service, even though rumours of such a thing continue to persist, and more strongly so than with past ‘iStream is coming’ gossip. Various media now cite US label sources as saying Apple bosses are indeed in the process of negotiating rights for an ad-funded streaming platform, though the labels are hesitant.

Apple is notorious for not wanting to spend its own money on its music ventures beyond the development of technology, and while it may be generous when it comes to sharing ad revenues, the record companies are used to attractive advances when doing these kinds of deals.

Nevertheless, when Bloomberg published a report on those negotiations yesterday, predicting a launch of iStream in the first quarter of 2013, the share price of publicly listed interactive radio service Pandora took another hit, as it did the last time Apple’s streaming ambitions were reported by the financial press.

Apple entering the market, even if its service is more of the ‘interactive radio’ Pandora kind than the fully-on-demand Spotify model, would shake-up the emerging streaming sector for certain. And, of course, they are not the only major player with ambitions in that space, streaming being the key new component of Microsoft’s latest music venture, Xbox Music, which will be fully integrated with the new Windows8 operating system launched yesterday.