Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

Summary: Apple has EMI and Warner Music Group reportedly signed up for its cloud service and Universal Music and Sony aren't too far behind. Now the cloud music race will get interesting.

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Apple has EMI and Warner Music Group signed up for its cloud service and Universal Music and Sony aren't too far behind. Now the cloud music race will get interesting.

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.

It's unclear when Apple's streaming music will begin---a lot of that depends on the company's data centers---but Steve Jobs & Co. has trumped unlicensed cloud music offerings from Amazon and Google. Both Amazon and Google said they were talking to the labels. Google execs noted last week at Google I/O that the labels wanted too much.

So here's how this cloud music thing is shaping up:

  • Apple will have the licensing to add any feature it wants. Subscriptions are possible with the licenses for cloud streaming.
  • Google and Amazon have locker services for the most part. These services look handy, but the lack of music licensing may limit features.
  • The music industry wants Apple to shine so others will have to sign cloud licensing deals.

Add it up and it looks like it's advantage Apple. With its iTunes installed base and licensing it's likely that consumers won't leave the ecosystem. Google and Amazon moved first, but Apple's licensing with the labels will serve as a moat around the iTunes ecosystem on your local drive and in the cloud.

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Topics: Amazon, Apple, Google

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20 comments
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  • Three words

    Apple gets it.
    phil_simon
    • How so?

      @philsimonsystems
      Will Pharaoh
      • Apple is getting the labels onboard

        @Will Pharaoh

        That's how.
        oncall
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    It will be much more than iTunes, welcome to a truly wireless iOS.
    Mosblest
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    apple does get it, but i see no problem with amazons system of an online locker of your own tunes. i think most people would be happy with that.
    there is already streaming music on iphone. its called real networks rhapsody.
    rocketboy5114
    • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

      @rocketboy5114 the problem with these "locker" services is that they are basically file sharing.
      CowLauncher
      • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

        @CowLauncher How exactly is a locker file sharing? It's locked down to a single user unless that user shares their user id and password which violates the EULA.
        rdawson3
      • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

        @CowLauncher You Apple fanboys will say any lies to trash competitors.
        MSFTWorshipper
      • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

        @CowLauncher
        No, they're not file sharing, at all, actually. Good try though.
        Droid101
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    I'm not sure I understand the appeal of cloud-storage music for mobile devices. Sure, I get Pandora (music discovery) and other online personalized 'radio stations,' but here are the issues I see with streaming your own music:
    1. Delivery over cell networks- eats up bandwidth, battery life, susceptible to interruption in low signal areas, slows down Internet access for other apps.

    2. With 8GB-64GB of storage in modern smart phones, and mp3s taking up approx 1min per MB; assuming you devote half of your storage to music, that's 4GB-32GB of or approx 4000-32,000 minutes (66.6- 533.3 hours, 2.78-22.4 days) of music. Even if you are listening to music 24/7, you'll go days or weeks without hearing the same song twice.

    3. Sound quality- 32k-128k seems to be the bit rate range for audio streaming online.

    4. You already own the songs, you're not hearing anything you haven't already purchased. anyone who wants to discover new artists will stick with Pandora or other subscription streaming services.

    Or am I missing something major here?
    Gritztastic
    • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

      @Gritztastic <br>IMO cloud storage and streaming eliminates the need to migrate data when changing devices. Also perhaps you have multiple devices; do you replicate the data on every device? Exand the concept beyond music and think about all of your data. Changing devices and migrating data can be a daunting task that is eliminated with cloud storage. Also device independence becomes a reality.

      That's not to suggest it's right for everyone...
      RedM3
      • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

        @RedM3 I agree, it definitely makes sense for other media.

        I use Plex Media Server for streaming video remotely- and while it can do music and photos, I personally find it faster and more convenient to use smart albums/playlists to sync photos/music locally on devices.

        Though I guess this type of music locker service is -not- for people that have a HTPC/transcoding/streaming server on 24/7.

        If I did not have that, and my data solely resided on a laptop hard drive w/ no backup (aka 95% of the population), then I would see the value of a digital music/photo/video locker.

        Thanks for helping me put this in perspective :)
        Gritztastic
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    rocketboy5114 mentioned Rhapsody, which has been doing this for years. I'm not sure why they don't get the credit they deserve for offering such a great service. Streaming commercial-free music to subscribers is not a new concept, Apple didn't think of it. Apple is very much behind in that it still requires users to connect cables to transfer content or install updates.
    Fusework Studios
    • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

      @Fusework Studios I don't think Rhapsody gets credit because the piece is not about giving credit to those that did it first. The article is about how Apple is taking (at least in the authors opinion) the best and smartest approach to this. Rhapsody is not in the same league as Amazon, Google and Apple so truly can't compete on their level, that is why they are not included in my opinion.

      BTW, I am sure it was just a pathetic attempt to take a cheap shot at Apple but what does connecting a cable have to do with the rest of your statement?
      non-biased
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    I use Amazon's cloud drive sync'd with my iTunes library on my PC. I run the Amazon music player on my Droid Incredible and it works great. Not sure what I'm missing. I can stream my music from Amazon and play it over My Ford Sync via the Bluetooth interface with my Droid. Just too freakin' cool!
    RedM3
    • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

      @RedM3
      how do you sync your iTunes library to amzn cloud?
      jberkley17
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    Too little too late. Real humans want to hear their songs that they purchased on all the devices they own. Not just iTunes compatible ones.
    Droid101
    • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

      @Droid101 Since most humans use iTunes compatible devices I guess it's not an issue ;-)
      non-biased
  • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

    It would help if there was better competition. If Apple is the only game in town, they will rip apart the consumer. Competition is always a good thing.
    rgor1
    • RE: Apple sets up cloud music deals: Fends off Amazon, Google

      @rgor@... I agree that competition is a good thing and a benefit to consumers but you can't just assume that Apple would rip apart the consumer. You might not like their pricing on some or all devices but with the satisfaction ratings they get their customers don't seem to feel ripped apart by any means.
      non-biased