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Cook reportedly discussed music streaming service with Beats

Apple CEO has met with music mogul Jimmy Iovine about Beats' planned music service, sources tell Reuters.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Apple CEO Tim Cook Sarah Tew/CNET

Tim Cook has held talks with Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine about a potential partnership involving Beats' planned music service, Reuters reports.

The Apple chief met with music mogul Iovine in late February to discuss Beats' "Project Daisy," a music subscription service announced in mid-February, unidentified sources told the news agency. Iovine, who co-founded Beats with hip-hop producer Dr Dre, said at last month's AllThingsD Dive Into Media conference that he expects to launch a "curated" music subscription service this summer.

During their meeting, which sources described as "informational" and as including iTunes chief Eddy Cue, Cook expressed interest in the service's business plan and launch schedule.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

A partnership with Beats would provide an instant entry for Apple, which has long been rumored to be working on a music streaming service. The company was reportedly in talks last September with record companies to license music for a custom music service that would create "virtual" music stations based on a song or artist of choice.

Such a venture would put Apple in competition with the likes of Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, which uses an algorithm to create custom radio stations based on a single song or artist and offers paid subscriptions as well as a free, ad-supported version and a suite of popular mobile apps.

Market-research firm BTIG Research predicted in November that Apple would launch a streaming-music service at some point in 2013 based on interviews with industry executives and the addition of a "Radio" option in the horizontal bar in iTunes 11.

Apple has dabbled in the sector before, buying music streaming site Lala.com in 2009. However, Apple shut down the operation less than six months later, leading many to wonder if Apple would ever get into the streaming business. Speculation resumed after Apple filed for a patent on streaming music in 2011.