After signing a deal with Warner Music Group last month, Apple has now inked a deal with EMI and is very close to signing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
This is all according to “multiple music industry sources” who spoke to CNET about Apple’s plans for a cloud-based music streaming service. At the end of last month we brought you news that Apple had purchased the iCloud domain name for $4.5 million with a view to using it to house its as-yet unofficial service. In recent weeks we’ve seen Amazon and then Google launch unlicensed cloud-music services which only launched in the US and without the backing of the music industry.
According to the sources who spoke to CNET, the deals with Universal and Sony could be wrapped up as soon as next week. While the sources couldn’t say when the service would be launched, Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference is kicking off on 6 June which would seem like an ideal place to announce such a service - considering there won’t be any new iPhone announcement. Whenever Apple decide to announce its cloud-music offering, it will undoubtedly be a more fully-featured service than those offered by Google and Amazon. While Apple are certainly playing catch-up in the cloud-computing space, with the signed agreements from the four major record labels in its back pocket, it could blow away all competition.
We will wait and see what happens in the coming weeks but the number of indicators pointing to the service coming soon are growing and hopefully we will see it launched on this side of the world and not just in the United States.