Regulators in the European Union may throw a roadblock into Apple’s upcoming launch of its new streaming music service. The computer giant is increasingly under examination over its dealings with record labels. EU regulators have sent questionnaires to major labels and other streaming services regarding their dealings with Apple.
Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Forbes.com
The supposition is that the tech giant hasn’t been entirely truthful with the record labels in the past and regulators want to get to the reality of the situation before the new streaming service is launched. The streaming network is expected to be part of iTunes and is based upon the infrastructure of Beats Music, which Apple purchased last year.
There have been reports that Apple has been pushing the labels hard for a new deal that would enable the company to lower the monthly subscription rate for the upcoming service from the industry standard $9.95 per month to $7.95.
While $4.95 is thought to be the pricing sweet spot, major label licensing deals have made that price point impossible except for limited feature tiers or introductory pricing.
If Apple is able to lower the price even a few dollars, the company would gain a significant advantage over its competitors. Couple that with a reported 800 million credit cards on file already, and it may be only a small leap for the company to immediately ascend to the top of the streaming music mountain in terms of paid subscribers.
That said, Apple has had its misses in the past with services like Ping. Even iTunes Radio might be considered to be in that group as it’s not had an impact on the non-interactive streaming market as expected.
Any anti-trust action brought by European authorities could lead to big fines against Apple, but even worse, might delay the launch of its new service in Europe.
The official announcement of the service is expected at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Bobby Owsinski is the author of 24 books on recording, music, the music business and social media. Read excerpts at bobbyowsinski.com