$137 billion in its piggy bank, Apple is said to be offering the record labels and publishers a royalty rate of 6 cents for each 100 songs streamed. That is half the 12 cents that the leading player in the industry, Pandora, pays. The standard set by the Copyright Royalty Board is about 21 cents per 100 tunes streamed, close to the 22 cents paid by iHeart Radio. The highest figure is paid by Spotify at 35 cents per 100 steamed songs.
With Apple planning on offering its service for free and displaying ads from its iAds mobile network, the record labels and music publishers want the streaming fees from Apple, an upfront payment, and a percentage of the ad revenue according to the Post's sources. And those with the music rights have the advantage because without the content, there is no service. Getting a deal done will be determined by how badly Apple wants to start this service and the concessions it is willing to make.
source: NYPost, MacRumors via TUAW