3 of the big 4 music labels have reportedly agreed to plant their content on Apple's server farms
On Wednesday, CNET's Greg Sandoval reported that Apple (AAPL) had persuaded EMI and Warner Music (WMG) to be part of its widely anticipated -- but as yet unannounced -- streaming music service (see here).
Now, in an item that moved on the Bloomberg newswire late Thursday, Andy Fixmer and Adam Satariano report that Sony Music (SNE) has also come on board, and that Universal Music -- the largest of the big four music labels -- is "close to a deal."
Apple, through iTunes, already operates the world's largest music store. In the next iteration of iTunes, according to widespread reports, high-quality copies of the music labels' songs would be stored on Apple's servers. Then, with the users' permission, Apple would scan their Macs or Windows PCs to see what songs they owned. Users would then have free access to those songs on Apple's servers whenever they wanted and on any device they owned.
Amazon (AMZN) this year launched a similar service and Google (GOOG) is testing another (both were reviewed by Walt Mossberg in Thursday's Wall Street Journal). But neither Amazon nor Google was able to come to terms with the music labels, which meant that to get the same streaming access, users would first have to upload their entire music libraries, a process that can take days.
With the big four labels in place, Apple could be in position to unveil the new iTunes at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which begins in San Francisco on June 6.
Google and Amazon suffer a setback as the music industry, once again, puts its trust in Steve Jobs
CNET's Greg Sandoval, who reported last month that Warner Music (WMG) had signed a deal with Apple (AAPL) to make its content library available on a new music streaming service, broke the news late Thursday that EMI had also come on board and that deals with Sony (SNE) and Universal could be wrapped MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 19, 2011 7:56 AM ET
A strong, but not a blockbuster showing, according to the New York Times
It may not have been a day we'll never forget, as Apple's (AAPL) teaser promised, but the launch of the Beatles on iTunes did make a splash.
EMI announced Tuesday that in their first week as digital downloads on iTunes, more than 450,000 Beatles albums and 2 million individual tracks were purchased worldwide.
That's better than the skeptics predicted, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 23, 2010 5:33 PM ET
One day after Tuesday's release, their 15 albums and 1 box set are all in the iTunes' top 50
It was often said during Apple's (AAPL) protracted negotiations with Apple Corps. and EMI to put The Beatles' catalog on iTunes, that anybody who cared about the music had already ripped the CDs.
Apparently that's not the case.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2010 6:30 AM ET
Getting Apple, Apple Corps., EMI, Sony/ATV and Yoko Ono to agree took some doing
"While details remain to be worked out, Fortune has learned that iTunes is close to a deal to bring the Beatles catalog online."
So wrote Tim Arango, now at New York Times, in Fortune's Nov. 27, 2006 issue.
"As Fortune went to press," he wrote, "numerous deal points were still being hammered out. According to a music industry MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 16, 2010 12:41 PM ET
Last we checked, the full catalog of Beatles songs was supposed to be available for sale on the iTunes Store before the end of 2008.
Well, it's not happening this year, according to one of the band's two surviving members, and for all we know it may never happen.
"The last word I got back was it's stalled at the whole moment, the whole process," Paul McCartney told reporters gathered Monday for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2008 12:35 PM ET
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