Can Apple woo music labels and FTC in time for Beats relaunch?

Time to change the Beats or beat the changes?

Beats music deals and FTC regulators
Credit: IDG

Time is ticking, and Apple needs to sign a few music deals, as soon as possible, pronto-like even. Why the rush? According to various sources, Apple's heralded (yet rarely heard) Beats streaming music service is scheduled for relaunch in June.

However, before Captain Tim can sail Apple's sound dinghy into the black-inked Sea of Profitability, he may need to first navigate through the choppy waters in Regulatory Straits. Complicating the journey, Captain Tim must also avoid eye contact with the twin monsters FTC and EU -- creatures famous for turning captains of industry and their carefully crafted ship dates to stone, sending all to the bottom, never to be heard from again.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers listen to Songza instead.

Today's humble blogwatcher is .


Oscar Raymundo licenses music before streaming:

.Apple can't wait to get back into streaming music, even if not all the pieces are in place quite yet.

The Beats Music relaunch is expected to be announced at [WWDC] in June, but music industry sources have confirmed...Apple has not yet secured the appropriate licensing deals required from the major record labels to be able to stream their catalogs.  MORE


David McLaughlin, Lucas Shaw and Tim Higgins band together to write a new piece:

U.S. antitrust officials are scrutinizing [Apple's] efforts to line up deals with record labels as it prepares to debut a new version of the Beats Music streaming service, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Trade Commission is looking at whether Apple is using its position as the largest seller of music downloads through its iTunes store to put rival music services like Spotify Ltd. at a disadvantage, one of the people said.  MORE


If you give him half a chance, Jonny Evans will create a heckuva playlist:

[Regulators] in Europe and the US are asking music business execs questions about Apple and its attempts to persuade labels to withdraw their content from free music streaming services in favor of charging a fee.

Spotify would be particularly impacted by such proposals -- just 15 million of its 60 million listeners pay a fee.

Apple wants to give its soon to appear new streaming service a fair chance. The company has been prepping iTunes improvements and a new curated music streaming service since last year's $3 billion acquisition of Beats.  MORE


And you can always count on Timothy J. Seppala to play it louder:

The hushed whispers surrounding the Federal Trade Commission's supposed investigation into Apple's Beats Music service relaunch have gotten a little louder.  MORE


Neglecting music, Glenn Peoples plays ball and runs track:

A June launch [of Beats] is still attainable. One source notes Apple has been able to quickly secure licensing deals in the past. "If any company can pull it off, they can," the source tells Billboard, adding that "labels are more likely to play ball with them" because of Apple's track record of generating revenue for rights holders.

Another major label source believes the Beats Music re-launch isn't coming soon. "June won't be the release date. The deals aren't done."  MORE


Never far behind, Joan E. Solsman soon catches up:

Apple has been grappling to find a competitive edge in subscription music streaming, a format that it resisted for years while startups like Spotify took the lead. Now that digital downloads are declining...Apple needs to catch up.  MORE


Meanwhile, Geneva Hopwood gets hot under the collar:

NOT cool, Apple.  MORE


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @itblogwatch or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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