Is iTunes Going Social?

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Apple’s special event next week will be pegged to music – that much we already know. There’s speculation that the Lala acquisition could come about next week but two separate outlets have reported that Apple won’t be bringing cloud-based streaming to iTunes, at least not yet. Boy Genius was tipped off social integration into iTunes 9 a couple weeks back.

• The social networking integration that we reported iTunes 9 would have seems to be part of a bigger social networking push by Apple. We’ve been informed that Apple has plans to tie iTunes 9 into a “Social” application that they plan to release in the future. It was said that the application (separate from iTunes) will be similar to Yahoo’s OneConnect offering and consolidate all your social networking services. (iPhone application? Desktop app? Wasn’t clarified to us).
• The application will allow you to broadcast what music you’re currently listening to, allow you to share your music with people on your network, connect with your friend’s friends (no clue on that one), and update all of your statuses at the same time. ITunes 9 will let you broadcast music statuses as well.
• As far as the iTunes application organization feature, we’ve been told it allow you to sort your applications alphabetically, by genre, date added, and of course, custom arrangement.

And today, Media Memo is reporting that iTunes will, in fact, see a facelift next week centered on social. Music industry executives commented that Steve Jobs and co. have not approached the major labels to rework their existing license deals that would allow cloud-based streaming. Media Memo’s sources fall in line with what BGR reported earlier this month.

And rumors of a web-based iTunes gained a bit more momentum today, as well. There isn’t much meat to Kafka’s story on what the social aspect would entail but we won’t really know until next week anyway.