Apple in talks on mobile music offerings

Apple is in negotiations with the major music labels to try and expand the variety of mobile music offerings available to iPhone users ahead of the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June. The New York Times, citing anonymous label executives, says that Apple is looking to expand its inventory of available ringtones, and is also hoping to begin offering ringback tones. Discussions concerning Apple’s ability to sell songs from the iTunes Store over the cellular broadband (3G) network are also ongoing, with the music labels arguing that they should be paid more for over-the-air downloads than for a standard purchase made over the Internet. Apple is said to be hoping for a quick end to the negotiations so it can announce the new offerings alongside the next iPhone. As one label executive said, “They want a big launch in June.”

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