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Apple iRadio rival to Spotify and Pandora delayed

Apple's planned music streaming service is delayed as the iPhone and iPad giant struggles to reach a deal with record labels.

The needle is skipping for Apple's planned music streaming service, as the iPhone and iPad giant struggles to reach a deal with record labels.

The purported streaming rival to Spotify and popular US service Pandora, inevitably nicknamed iRadio, was thought to have been planned for early this year. But the New York Post reports that negotiations with record labels over licensing of music have delayed the process.

iRadio -- or whatever it ends up being called -- is set to be a free app that comes with all iPhones, iPads and iPods. It learns what you like and plays a free stream of songs, with Apple adding iAds adverts in order to make money from the service.

Apple has been in talks with the US music licensing bodies Ascap and BMI, which negotiate on behalf of the labels for licensing songs. But Sony pulled out of those bodies, forcing Apple to negotiate directly with  the label. The delay is down to the fact that Sony feels Apple is low-balling talks, offering 6 cents for every 100 songs streamed -- just half what Pandora pays.

Record labels are reportedly after a a percentage of Apple's ad revenue as well as an up-front fee. 

The question of payment for streamed music has proved controversial, with Spotify in particular coming under fire for not channeling enough music to musicians.

Can Apple see off Spotify and pummel Pandora? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.