Apple Radio’s much-anticipated music streaming service got closer to a reality Thursday when it inked rights deals with Sony Music and Sony/ATV.
Apple is telling its partners it expects its streaming service to grow into a $1 billion business over the next five years, according to the NY Post.
In addition, Apple is telling those same partners its deals are likely to put pressure on Clear Channel boss Bob Pittman to also negotiate new, more expensive terms for iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s digital radio business, sources said.
Currently, iHeart pays labels and artists a set rate for simulcasting songs that are being played on the radio.
The labels get nothing for terrestrial airplay, that’s viewed as promotional.
Pittman is enlisting former Live Nation Executive Chairman Irving Azoff to help in the effort, sources tell The Post.
Those talks have so far yielded few results, sources added.
The big three music companies — Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner — have put iHeart talks on the backburner while dealing with Apple.
“Apple really took the window,” offered one music industry source. “It’s tough because Apple is their No. 1 customer.”
“But if you want a hit,” the source said, “you need Clear Channel, so Pittman’s got them [in a tough position.]”
A spokesman for Azoff said: “As a Clear Channel board member, he’s involved in many activities of the company.”