Apple is paying lots of licensing money to music labels ahead of unveiling its iCloud service at next week's WWDC, according to a new report.
reportedly paying big bucks for the privilege of having major music labels sign
off on its upcoming iCloud service, according to new reports.
sources apparently told the New York Post
that Apple had
shelled out "between $100 million and $150 million" to license their music to
the cloud-based service. CNET also reported
June 2 that Universal Music
Group had reached an agreement with Apple, making it the fourth and last major
record company to do so. The Wall Street Journal
previously suggested that
Apple had signed licensing deals with EMI Group, Sony Music Entertainment and
Warner Music Group.
Apple plans to
unveil iCloud at its WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), which kicks off
June 6 in San Francisco. In a May 31 press release posted on its corporate
Website, Apple alluded to iCloud as an "upcoming cloud-services offering" but
provided no further details. Current rumors suggest that iCloud will act as an
online media locker, and perhaps offer some form of streaming content.
substantial competition in the consumer-cloud arena from the likes of
Amazon.com, which recently launched a cloud-based locker and player for music,
and Google, whose own cloud-music offering recently launched in beta. Although
Microsoft's current cloud efforts seem primarily focused on the
business-software side of the equation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently
suggested that "every one of our products will be engineered to deliver the
full benefits of the cloud."
nor Amazon secured licensing agreements with the major music labels before
launching their respective cloud services. For its part, Amazon has argued that
its cloud service is nothing more than a storage unit and therefore not
beholden to licensing.
service could potentially assist Apple in blocking those threats. Certainly,
the company's massive data center in North Carolina could serve toward that
end. The next version of its operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion," reportedly will also feature some cloud integration
Blogs such as
TechCrunch and Daring Fireball have spent the past few months insisting that
Apple will debut no new hardware at WWDC, choosing instead to focus on previews
of iCloud and the next versions of iOS and Mac OS. Apple's May 31 press release
confirms that focus. Other blogs suggested that Apple would use the conference
to debut the iPhone 5, in keeping with the company's usual habit of releasing
the newest variant of its popular smartphone during the summer timeframe; if
such a thing is still in the works, however, Apple is keeping an
extraordinarily tight lock on it.