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

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.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

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:
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  • 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 de
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    als.

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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