Apple has reportedly signed licenses with two major music labels for iTunes streaming

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A new report claims that Apple has succeeded in procuring deals with at least two of the four big music labels in the last two months, possibly signaling that the rumored iTunes streaming music service is imminent.



Peter Kafka of All Things Digital reported Thursday that Apple is "actively seeking licenses" for a new cloud-based music locker service and is willing to pay labels for the privilege.



According to Kafka's sources, Apple has inked deals with two of the for major labels, which include Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI within the last two months. One source claimed Apple VP Eddy Cue will be in New York on Friday in an attempt to solidify remaining deals.



"They?ve been very aggressive and thoughtful about it,? Kafka reported an industry executive as saying. ?It feels like they want to go pretty soon.?



Kafka's sources have yet to see the service for themselves, but say they're aware of the "broad strokes." "The idea is that Apple will let users store songs they?ve purchased from its iTunes store, as well as others songs stored on their hard drives, and listen to them on multiple devices," Kafka wrote in his report.



The report comes on the heels of a Reuters report earlier Thursday that claimed Apple had "completed work" on a cloud-based iTunes music streaming service. Citing anonymous sources, the report said Apple is "set to launch" the service, which would store users' songs on a remote server and allow them to access them from "wherever they have an Internet connection."



However, the Reuters report claimed that Apple had yet to arrive at new licensing agreements with the labels.



Rival Amazon launched a digital music locker last month without new licensing approval. The online retailer has reportedly faced a backlash from the music industry as a result.



According to Kafka, Apple would be able to create a more "robust service" than Amazon with re-negotiated licenses. That service could include "better user interfaces, sound quality, and other features," said Kafka.



For example, Kafka has heard that Apple's new deals with the labels would allow the company to "store a single master copy of a song on its servers and share it with multiple users."



Apple's upcoming music streaming service could come in the form of an enhanced version of MobileMe. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple plans to revamp its MobileMe offerings by adding a free 'locker' service for storing photos, music and videos.



In 2009, Apple bought streaming music service Lala for $85 million, prompting speculation that iTunes streaming was in the works. However, Apple shuttered Lala last year and the rumored service has yet to materialize.



Google is also planning a similar service, but has reportedly gotten bogged down in negotiations. According to Reuters, the company has repeatedly changed its mind during talks with labels, bringing talks to a standstill.



"They keep changing what they're asking for," said a label executive. Sources claim Google had originally planned an 'iTunes-like store,' but had been begun exploring licensing for a subscription service in recent weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Whats the point if Amazon and Google are just going to do it anyways without the labels permission?



    Sounds like Apple is entering into agreements which are only going to handicap them in the long run.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to Kafka's sources, Apple has inked deals with two of the for major labels...



    That tell me the other two will be following suit.



    Quote:

    The report comes on the heels of a Reuters report earlier Thursday that claimed Apple had "completed work" on a cloud-based iTunes music streaming service. Citing anonymous sources, the report said Apple is "set to launch" the service, which would store users' songs on a remote server and allow them to access them from "wherever they have an Internet connection."



    I hope we have a special event on this within a couple weeks. Maybe with a new version of Xcode and an iOS 5.0 demo. I see no reason why Apple can?t release iOS 5.0 before the 5th generation iPhone. The stepped method is working out for the iPad releases and it could help boost sales for different quarters with a HW/SW tick/tock method.



    But if iOS 5.0 doesn?t come until the G5 iPhone I?d think they?d launch this service sooner. Will it be a point update to iOS 4.x or just web access until they release iOS 5.0?



    Quote:

    According to Kafka, Apple would be able to create a more "robust service" than Amazon with re-negotiated licenses. That service could include "better user interfaces, sound quality, and other features," said Kafka.



    I hope so. Amazon?s service looks like it put together in a weekend by some college kids for a class project. Or Google.



    Quote:

    For example, Kafka has heard that Apple's new deals with the labels would allow the company to "store a single master copy of a song on its servers and share it with multiple users."



    I can?t imagine it any other way. There is no reason for the exact same file to be stored for every user that has that file. That?s some old school, basic iDisk storage, not the modern Dropbox and Time Machine storage technology.



    Quote:

    Google is also planning a similar service, but has reportedly gotten bogged down in negotiations. According to Reuters, the company has repeatedly changed its mind during talks with labels, bringing talks to a standstill.



    "They keep changing what they're asking for," said a label executive. Sources claim Google had originally planned an 'iTunes-like store,' but had been begun exploring licensing for a subscription service in recent weeks.



    I wish Google would get some focus and try to make one thing great before moving trying to complicate it.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Whats the point if Amazon and Google are just going to do it anyways without the labels permission?



    Sounds like Apple is entering into agreements which are only going to handicap them in the long run.



    The labels could sue and/or threaten to withdrawal their content. To me this seems like one thing Apple would want to get the labels to agree with.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    How does Apple make money from a locker service?



    I can understand a pay-monthly service that allows you to listen to anything you want...
  • Reply 4 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


    How does Apple make money from a locker service?



    I can understand a pay-monthly service that allows you to listen to anything you want...



    Maybe it?s only for MobileMe suscribers.



    Maybe it?s a way to keep users tied to the iTunes ecosystem and associated devices.



    PS: When did the ?locker? or "digital locker" term get coined. Since Amazon?s service arrived it?s become very popular. I like it, but I can?t find an etymology on it coinage.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    Whats the point if Amazon and Google are just going to do it anyways without the labels permission?



    Sounds like Apple is entering into agreements which are only going to handicap them in the long run.



    Well, the points are:



    1. Do the right thing and purchase rights from the owners of the songs (and hopefully some of the money flows back to the artists)



    2. Avoid being caught up in years of litigation



    3. Don't anger the labels that feed iTunes



    4. Make the iEcosystem even more superior to the competition



    5. Don't risk losing a lawsuit that could cost hundreds of millions, or more, in damages



    Amazon and google will/are taking a tremendous risk here....
  • Reply 6 of 32
    A better cloud service is cited on my homepage. The banner is on the right of the page. Apple arrived late to provide this type of music service. This service is already being provided.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


    How does Apple make money from a locker service?



    Because it helps them sell more iPhones
  • Reply 8 of 32
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rkcooke View Post


    Well, the points are:



    1. Do the right thing and purchase rights from the owners of the songs (and hopefully some of the money flows back to the artists)



    2. Avoid being caught up in years of litigation



    3. Don't anger the labels that feed iTunes



    4. Make the iEcosystem even more superior to the competition



    5. Don't risk losing a lawsuit that could cost hundreds of millions, or more, in damages



    Amazon and google will/are taking a tremendous risk here....



    There is already legal precedent in Amazon's favor. There was a case involving DVRs and the court ruled their is no difference between local and remote storage.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    There is already legal precedent in Amazon's favor. There was a case involving DVRs and the court ruled their is no difference between local and remote storage.



    Is that the same thing as a streaming service?
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "They?ve been very aggressive and thoughtful about it,? Kafka reported an industry executive as saying. ?It feels like they want to go pretty soon.?



    Go Apple, go.. Don't wait too long.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samlogo View Post


    A better cloud service is cited on my homepage. The banner is on the right of the page. Apple arrived late to provide this type of music service. This service is already being provided.



    But is it good? If Apple's service is better, will you jump ship?
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    Because it helps them sell more iPhones



    I understand that's what iTunes is there for already... to help sell devices. The difference, however, is that people pay Apple $1.29 for each track.



    With streaming... people will be sucking down terabytes of bandwidth every minute.



    In a sense... Apple will be paying for customers to use all that bandwidth.



    That doesn't make sense in the long run... unless what Apple will be offering a $10 month all-you-can-eat subscription service or something.



    Come to think of it... Amazon is giving away bandwidth too. I don't see how they do it either. Weird.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,020member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Is that the same thing as a streaming service?



    I know nothing of Amazons service, but what if it were simply an NFS mount, and the player a standard mp3 player?



    Conceptually how different would that be from streaming?
  • Reply 14 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    I know nothing of Amazons service, but what if it were simply an NFS mount, and the player a standard mp3 player?



    Conceptually how different would that be from streaming?



    I thought the lawsuit with DVRs is that the provider has the license to stream to your local device that can receive the transmission and then push that signal out to a monitor, like a TV. The DVR was merely time shifting when that entire process occurred.



    With Amazon’s service there is no such agreement to allow streaming of the music files they sell, only downloading from their server to be played on local devices. I think the DMCA allows for moving your content around for backup reasons, but I don’t recall any provisions that allows others to then stream it back to you from your storage “locker.” I guess it coms down to streaming your remotely stored content constitutes “fair use” or not.



    While it’s all just data, it’s a different type of data at those levels. It’s like killing a panda and then replacing it with the same weight in skunks claiming it’s all just mammal. Ok, not my best example, but it’s late.





    edit: FAIR USE Act - Section 3: DMCA Amendments - (iii) Personal network
    Section (III) allows circumvention for the purpose of transmitting media over a personal network, but explicitly prevents the uploading of media “to the Internet for mass, indiscriminate redistribution."
    The wording seems to ignore a private folder on a remote server. I can’t find anything that states it specifically to the point that I’d think it’s cut and dry, though I do think Amazon will ultimately end up caving.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,020member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I thought the lawsuit with DVRs is that the provider has the license to stream to your local device that can receive the transmission and then push that signal out to a monitor, like a TV. The DVR was merely time shifting when that entire process occurred.



    With Amazon’s service there is no such agreement to allow streaming of the music files they sell, only downloading from their server to be played on local devices. I think the DMCA allows for moving your content around for backup reasons, but I don’t recall any provisions that allows others to then stream it back to you from your storage “locker.” I guess it coms down to streaming your remotely stored content constitutes “fair use” or not.



    While it’s all just data, it’s a different type of data at those levels. It’s like killing a panda and then replacing it with the same weight in skunks claiming it’s all just mammal. Ok, not my best example, but it’s late.





    edit: FAIR USE Act - Section 3: DMCA Amendments - (iii) Personal network
    Section (III) allows circumvention for the purpose of transmitting media over a personal network, but explicitly prevents the uploading of media “to the Internet for mass, indiscriminate redistribution."
    The wording seems to ignore a private folder on a remote server. I can’t find anything that states it specifically to the point that I’d think it’s cut and dry, though I do think Amazon will ultimately end up caving.



    As I imagine it, there is no indiscriminate redistribution going on with the amazon cloud service. You upload your music, the music you paid for, into your own personal web disk space. Alternatively, it seems, you can buy a song from amazon, and have the put it in locker for you.



    I think amazon got the jump on apple on this one. Apple might be negotiating licenses, but it's not clear to me that they have to if all they're doing is hosting a subscribers own content.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    I don't understand why everyone is so focused on music streaming at the moment.



    It seems like people are putting all their attention into a close tussle between two combatants when there is actually an entire war going on around them.



    The enormous scope of the all encompassing cloud services packages coming from Apple and others over the next few years will relegate music streaming to a small tick box on a very long feature list.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    As I imagine it, there is no indiscriminate redistribution going on with the amazon cloud service. You upload your music, the music you paid for, into your own personal web disk space. Alternatively, it seems, you can buy a song from amazon, and have the put it in locker for you.



    And that sounds like Amazon?s argument, but that?s not the content owner?s argument.



    Quote:

    I think amazon got the jump on apple on this one. Apple might be negotiating licenses, but it's not clear to me that they have to if all they're doing is hosting a subscribers own content.



    Amazon and Apple are surely doing different things. Apple service is rumoured to work more like Time and Machine and Dropbox in that a single copy of a file can be linked to as many users that own that copy. It means a lot less overhead for storage as well as simply needing to read your content library to determine which files you can get access to without necessary uploading any files to the server.



    As for getting the jump, I don?t see in what way they have. Right now you can play a song from Dropbox on a mobile device. Right now you can access the iDisk app from an iDevice and play a song. hese and other predated Amazon?s service by years. There is nothing new or unique about Amazon?s service. It?s only known because it?s big and free. It?s like when Google started offering email. It was big and free. The only ?difference? Amazon has over the aforementioned options is the ability to buy a song on their site and have it sent to your locker. Not exactly a killer feature.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    radjinradjin Posts: 165member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    There is already legal precedent in Amazon's favor. There was a case involving DVRs and the court ruled their is no difference between local and remote storage.



    Right or wrong, win or lose, they can still tie it up in limbo for years.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,876member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    As I imagine it, there is no indiscriminate redistribution going on with the amazon cloud service. You upload your music, the music you paid for, into your own personal web disk space. Alternatively, it seems, you can buy a song from amazon, and have the put it in locker for you.



    The difference may be with Apple's service there won't be any uploading. If you own the song locally, you'll be able to play it remotely from their servers.



    Apple already has a patent for this I believe!? Something about a mobile device containing a playlist only to access music remotely and being able to mix and match local and remote playing. I think it was from a couple years ago?
  • Reply 20 of 32
    There is a better and cheaper music cloud service other than Apple. I am using it and it works great. http://www.digitalundivide.com
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