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Apple iRadio reportedly held up by song skipping fee dispute

Negotiations for Apple's music streaming service have hit a snag, according to a report, with Apple and Sony at loggerheads.

Apple's iRadio music streaming service is slated for a summer launch, but there's reportedly been a bit of a hiccup in negotiations between the Cupertino company and Sony Music.

According to people familiar with the matter, the two companies are at loggerheads over exactly how much Apple would pay for songs people only listen to a fraction of and then skip, CNET reports.

The cigar-chompers at other record labels are said to be frustrated because they want Apple's service get off the ground ASAP. Streaming is now the fastest-growing segment of the recorded music industry, and will only be bolstered by Apple getting involved. The music industry has suffered enough blows since Napster, so execs are keen to make money where they can. Those cigars don't pay for themselves, you know.

Pandora -- said to be iRadio's closest competitor -- has its song-skipping rules set out under the 1996 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That allows six skips an hour per station, with up to 12 skips per day across all stations. Pandora has to pay full royalties, even if it only plays a few seconds of a song. Sony is said to be seeking better terms from Apple, which, if successful, could throw a spanner in the works of Apple's deals with Warner and Universal.

At its I/O conference this week, Google announced its own subscription music service, called Google Play Music All Access. Though, just like when Google Play Music first launched (née Google Music), it's US-only for now. Blast.

Of course, there's also Twitter Music, which shows trending artists and lets you share what's hot. 

Are you looking forward to Apple getting in on the music streaming party? Or does the sound of yet another service make you want to block up your ears? Let me know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page.