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Apple Streaming Service Hits Snag with Sony

APPLE VS. SONY MUSIC: Apple’s plans for a summer rollout of its streaming music service, on the heels of Google’s similar announcement last week, may have hit a snag in negotiations with Sony Music. The impediment comes over how much Apple would pay for songs that people listen to a fraction of and then skip, among other points of contention. Apple's streaming music service, which most closely resembles Pandora, has features that offer users added control, such as the ability to rewind a song and skip to the next after listening to a portion of it. Last week, Apple reached an agreement with UMG and is reportedly close to a deal with WMG, according to sources. Label honchos are anxious to close the deal with Apple's planned service because it also includes a quick way for users to purchase a song they're listening to, and gives the major record companies a slice of the ad revenue. Apple has also informed the music labels that it plans to build out its iAd business, including the potential of adding audio ads such as those heard on Pandora. Apple currently has the same licensing deals with the major labels and publishers, in which they pay rights holders 70% of every dollar it brings in, and is seeking a uniform deal for its new service as well. (5/20a)

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