Rumours are intensifying around the likelihood of Apple introducing an ad-supported, web-based radio service into the already busy online streaming market by March next year.

The technology giant is alleged to be seeking alternative licensing options from the major record labels, which would likely give Apple a competitive advantage.

Currently, Pandora, the leading Internet radio company, uses a compulsory licence, which restricts how often users can skip tracks and how many times an hour an artist can be played.

According to Bloomberg’s anonymous sources, Apple is currently in discussions with Universal, Warner and Sony, looking to secure an arrangement that would ensure less licence restrictions, using a percentage of advertising revenue (or possibly space) as leverage in negotiations.

A successful outcome from these talks would seemingly give Apple the green light for a streaming product with features drawn from both Pandora, Spotify and Deezer, amongst others.

More from