Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is a week away and the rumor mill is in overdrive as every technology blog is looking for the scoop as to what hardware, software and services that the company could be unveiling. The hottest rumors surround the new devices like an iTV or the iWatch and software like an overhauled iOS 7 mobile operating system. However, there is news today about other services that have flown under the radar.
According to the New York Times, Apple is making a hard push to finalize a number of licensing deals with music companies for its new streaming music service. It would be similar to the other options on the market like Pandora and Spotify, but have an integration of iTunes to allow purchasing of songs.
The news piece cited "people briefed on the talks" who said over the weekend that Apple has signer or is working on deals with Universal, Warner and Sony to gain the right to the company's artists.
The service is expected to be free and supported by advertising, however it would be late to the party as there are already a number of solutions that have a stronghold on the market. Apple, though, does have a history of shacking up existing industries, so it will be interesting to see the company brings to market.
While iTunes is a consumer service, it does offer things like iTunes U and industry specific podcasts that many companies are taking advantage of to help employees learn new skills. If these are integrated into the new service, it could add a new level to companies that have done a Mac integration.