Back in early September, news broke in several publications about Apple's plans for a Pandora-like custom radio service, with the company reportedly seeking to arrange deals with music labels to allow more flexibility than permitted under the mandatory licensing used by Pandora. At the time, a launch was said to be "months away". By late October, reports were indicating that talks remained in limbo with Apple and the major music labels remaining far apart in their licensing offers, although Apple was reportedly still hoping for an early 2013 launch. As part of a report noting that Pandora's stock plunged yesterday after issuing weak guidance for the upcoming quarter, CNET says that Apple still has not made any significant progress with the major music labels. Eddy Cue has long been Apple's "master negotiator" for content deals, a role that he has reportedly filled with a calm yet firm demeanor that has made him very well respected in the business. As Apple's content empire has grown, Cue's role has expanded to the point where it now encompasses the iTunes Store, App Store, iCloud, iBookstore, iAd, Siri, and Maps. Article Link: Deals for Apple Custom Radio Service 'Nowhere Near to Being Completed'