Last month we announced that Apple was prepping a new “Pandora killer” called iRadio and that the launch for the program would happen in early 2013, now a new report is suggesting that Apple has run into a big hurdle. According to CNET’s Greg Sandoval, the company has slowed its plans because major record companies have not been willing to agree with Apple’s payment structure or platform requirements.

The three biggest holdouts at this time are Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group. Those three groups contract much of the big name acts throughout the country. If the rumor is correct the companies appear to be “nowhere near a completed deal.”

Apple iRadio Delay

Bloomberg just last week reported that the service was preparing for a launch within “the first three weeks” of 2013.

Sandoval writes:

“Even if Apple sweetens its offer or the big labels change their mind tomorrow, these deals take a while to put to bed. Even in the best case scenario, it will still be a while before we see iRadio.”

Apple was believed to be closing in on a deal in mid-November and it’s not clear yet why those negotiations would have fallen apart. Some analysts including the team at 9to5Mac have questions whether or not Apple CEO Tim Cook has failed to be as aggressive as former CEO Steve Jobs when it comes to closing big deals.

Apple could simply be facing the type of issues raised by other music streaming services, for example Pandora has long complained that the deal it has structured puts it at a disadvantage to Spotify and other popular services who pay upwards of 75% of all revenues or $200 million per year, whichever price is higher.

Apple and the three big record label holdouts have not yet commented on this newest iRadio rumor.


[Image via ComputerWorld]