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Apple Radio — Yes, er … Maybe

How close is Apple to launching its music service?

While the world waits with bated breath on every little move from Apple, broadcasters are perhaps most interested in the persistent rumor that Apple is planning to launch a music service to rival Pandora, et al.

Two Friday stories offer somewhat different takes.

Bloomberg’s report, “Apple’s Online Radio Service to Challenge Pandora in 2013,” pointed to an Apple launch in the first quarter of 2013. It indicated that negotiations with record labels were progressing. The main questions being hashed out involved ad revenues.

However, CNET’s “Apple’s Proposed Web Radio Service Is No Certainty,” casts some uncertainty at the Bloomberg piece. “But music industry executives who spoke with CNET said that some decision makers at the big record companies want Apple to sweeten the offer,” the piece says.

It points to worries that Apple is low-balling the labels and that a proposed piece of the ad revenue action might be an underperformer. There’s also worry that Apple could throw in with Pandora and push for the lower Internet performance royalties in the Internet Fairness Radio Act.