A number of reports indicate that Apple is preparing to debut its iRadio music streaming service next week, with Cupertino supposedly in the midst of campaign to contact major advertisers about the platform.
According to Reuters and AdAge, the new service will emulate Pandora in terms of a monetization strategy. Meaning, Apple will use its iAd service to sell audio advertisements, allowing the streaming service to remain free to users.
Interestingly, Apple has apparently agreed to hand over 10 percent of its "iRadio" advertisement revenue to music rights holders, more than double the 4% that Pandora purportedly shells out.
As you may recall, Pandora's current free service is limited to 40 hours per month, with a $3.99 subscription required to exceed the above-mentioned cap. Spotify offers 10 hours per month of ad-supported streaming, but bars iPhone or iPad use without a subscription.
It probably also should be noted that Google recently entered the Internet radio market with its All Access service, which offers unlimited streaming for $9.99 per month. Apple is rather late to the Internet radio party, so it remains unclear if Cupertino will be able to compete against rivals like Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and Google.