Apple is planning a new service that will allow users to stream music based on their personal tastes, according to reports today in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The service is said to be a competitor with existing services like Pandora and Slacker Radio. But, since this is Apple we're talking about, the new offering will most likely be app-based with possible integration into iTunes— not a website that you can visit in your browser.
Apple is reportedly working on securing new licensing deals with the record labels that will allow it to deliver a service with novel features. For instance, users of Apple's service may be able to play several songs by a single artist, or even one particular song several times— something that Pandora prohibits as a condition of its limited rights agreement.
The Apple streaming service would use Apple's iAds platform and would likely take the form of an iOS app. The Cupertino company is reportedly in the beginning stages of negotiation with the labels and isn't expected to announce the service anytime soon, so don't expect to hear about it at next week's iPhone (and possibly iPod) event.
Apple has consistently declined to compete head-to-head with services that allow users to stream large quantities of music online for a monthly fee like Spotify and Rdio. An Internet radio solution, however, would signal an acknowledgment by the iTunes creator that today's music consumers are no longer content with buying individual songs for $1 a piece.