Apple is entering a fresh round of iTunes negotiations with the major labels this year – and reports claim the music firms want to force the launch of subscription-based music services.

For the labels subscription services are good because they offer regular and repeating income; though artists see less profit from such services as they attract only minimal royalty rates (rental rates) from such distribution of their tracks.

Music fans gain access to a world of music, but of course must pay once again in order to own any tracks or albums they like.

The world's largest label, Universal Music, will kick-start the discussion next week, while other majors are expected to follow suit, accoriding to a report intially published by the Financial Times.

A secon report on CBS Marketwatch continues the theme, claiming: "Executives at Universal and other labels believe a subscription service could prove more lucrative for them than iTunes' prevailing model of charging consumers 99 cents [79p] per track because it would increase consumption of music."

"It would also entitle the labels to a share of monthly payments, in addition to small licensing fees each time their songs are played," that report adds.

Apple in the past has argued against the notion of subscription-based music services, though these have proven popular in countries in which mobile phones predominate as music players.