Apple announced today that it has signed a cloud-music licensing deal with EMI Music and is close to completing the deals necessary with Universal Music Ground and Sony Music Entertainment to lock down the top four labels for its upcoming cloud-music service.
With a pre-existing deal in place with Warner Music Group, Apple is that much closer. The licensing agreements will enable Apple to launch its cloud-music service that is fully licensed. This comes from rivalry with Amazon and Google, which aren’t licensed like Apple.
Apple is currently waiting on Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group, with all of this wrapping up within the next week, hopefully. If Apple can get these licenses we can expect the cloud-based music service to be announced at the upcoming Wordwide Developers Conference.
When Apple gets all their licenses taken care of, they will behind Amazon and Google for cloud-music services. The upside for Apple now is the ability to offer a range of features that others can’t produce because of restrictions.
One such feature is, instead of uploading hours of music to the cloud service Apple could scan their computer for music they already own and give them access to the song almost-instantly from master files held by the company.
The major labels are jumping on Apple’s side because they are licensing the music, this in turn, the labels hope will hurt both Google and Amazon and force them to pay licensing rates for music.
The only question to remain, do users want the cloud? Apple will likely change a subscription fee for the cloud service.
Music services are really hoping on the fact that once users start to pay for the cloud service they won’t want to cancel because all their music will be lost. There is defiantly a value on accessing tracks form anywhere, at anytime and with any device connected to the web.