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Len Blavatnik has made an investment in Daisy, While WMG has reportedly struck a licensing deal with Google.

APPLE, BEATS IN TALKS ABOUT DAISY HOOKUP—REPORT

Cook and Cue Have Powwow With Iovine About Care and Feeding of His Daisy, Following Another Report That Google Will Launch a YouTube Streaming Service
Apple, which is widely rumored to be considering a streaming service to complement the iTunes Store, has held talks with Beats Electronics about a potential partnership involving Daisy, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

According to these sources, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Internet products chief Eddy Cue met with Jimmy Iovine during a visit to L.A. in late February to find out more about Daisy. Beats had announced in January without going into much detail, and the meeting was set up soon afterward. During the get-together, Cook expressed interest in Daisy's business model and its rollout plans, although they didn’t discuss the specifics of a deal, the sources said. Instead, the meeting was "informational" and covered a broad range of music-related topics.

Though Beats declined to comment on the meeting (as did Apple, of course), the company did reveal yesterday that it had secured $60 million in funding for Daisy from a group of investors including Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass and Aussie financier James Packer. The funding will bankroll the music service's launch, which is slated for late this year.

Iovine has a long association with Apple. He was one of the first label execs to sign onto iTunes in 2001, and he recently told AllThingsD that he’d pitched a subscription service to Steve Jobs in 2003, but Jobs didn't bite.

The news of the possible Apple-Beats partnership comes right on the heels of a Fortune report that YouTube will launch a subscription music service later this year, verifying recent rumors. The service has its own negotiating team and operating unit but will likely have some overlap with new features also rumored to be coming to Google Play, which is a locker-based platform. Both services are said to be adding a subscription fee that will unlock additional features. For the YouTube-based service, this will likely mean ad-free access, the story speculated.

Fortune was briefed on the service by sources in the record biz and at Google who declined to be named. Through a spokesperson, YouTube issued the following statement: "While we don't comment on rumor or speculation, there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we're looking at that."

Soon after the Fortune story hit, Billboard reported that Warner Music has struck a licensing deal with Google for both music services, citing executives familiar with the deal.

So it looks like the present field of streaming-service rivals is going to have some far more daunting competition in the not-too-distant future.
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