“Apple Inc. is in talks to license music for a custom-radio service similar to the popular one operated by Pandora Media Inc. according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be a bid by the hardware maker to expand its dominance in online music,” Ethan Smith And Jessica E. Vascellaro report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Such services create virtual “stations” that play music similar to a song or artist of the user’s choosing, either on Web browsers or smartphone apps. Like traditional radio, they are typically free for users, but incorporate advertisements,” Smith And Vascellaro report. “Apple’s service would work on its sprawling hardware family, including the iPhone, iPads and Mac computers, and possibly on PCs running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, according to one of these people. It would not work on smartphones and tablets running Google Inc.’s GOOG +0.68% Android operating system, this person added, highlighting the mounting battle for mobile dominance between the two technology giants.”

Smith And Vascellaro report, “Apple only recently initiated licensing negotiations with record labels for its putative service and, even if it does complete deals, it could be a matter of months before such a service might launch, according to these people.”

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