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May 19, 2011

Apple to Offer Cloud-Music Service With EMI Deal

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

It looks as though Apple (News - Alert) has already signed a cloud-music licensing agreement with EMI Music and is close to closing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, according to music industry sources.

According to CNET News’ Greg Sandoval EMI has signed a cloud licensing deal with Apple. It appears that Apple will have all the music labels lined up by time Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off June 6.

The deals, which are being reported to be signed off next week, will join one already standing between Apple and Warner Music Group to allow users to access the respective music libraries via stream from the cloud. Apple has been taking its time with this move as Google (News - Alert) and Amazon are already offering services that allow users to upload music to a cloud server for listening on the go.

Apple’s competitors in this field don’t have contracts with the aforementioned record companies, meaning that users have to laboriously upload their existing music files to the cloud manually.

Apple has invested millions in this new venture where users will store all of their media in a digital locker online, it is an important step for Apple as it means a future where they do away with storage on their devices. Apple is thought to have paid $4.5 million for the name iCloud.

They have bought and setup a data center in North Carolina and have also got a reported 12 million gigabytes of storage – which is widely expected to be the home of iCloud.

Sandoval says that the music companies are hoping that “Apple’s service makes [Amazon and Google] look shabby by comparison. The thinking is that if Apple’s service eclipses those of its rivals, it will prompt Amazon and Google to pay the labels’ licensing rates.”

Google confirmed its cloud-based music service, Google Music Beta, just over a week ago now. Google’s version allows users to upload 20GB of their music to the cloud. Users can then play the music back across a variety of Android (News - Alert)-powered devices.

Amazon has also confirmed it too will be releasing a cloud-based music service, known as Amazon Cloud Player.

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend the Cloud Communications Summit, collocated with TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The Cloud Communications Summit will address a growing need of businesses to integrate and leverage cloud based communications applications, process enhancement techniques, and network based communications interfaces and architectures. To register, click here.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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