If the rumors of discussions between Apple and the biggest record labels are true, then online radio could have itself a new player. Bloomberg reported  yesterday that the tech firm is planning to launch an Internet radio service as soon as the first quarter of next year, and the news sent Pandora stocks into a tailspin .
The app-based service will be ad-supported and this last thing is apparently what the talks are hinging on, with the music industry is hoping to take a percentage of the advertising revenue; Apple meanwhile, sees it as a way of growing its iAd business and is working out ways to integrate this with iTunes. The firm is also hoping to structure the business in a different way to Pandora's, which relies on a compulsory license. Instead, it will push for licensing pacts with the labels and a chance to get its hands on earlier music releases.