Apple has completed a cloud-music streaming deal with record label EMI, according to a report filed by CNET. Citing multiple industry sources, the publication notes that Apple, Sony Music Entertainment and the Universal Music Group are working on agreements as well; a previous report claims that Warner Music Group and Apple already signed a cloud service agreement sometime last month. “Apple will finish behind Google and Amazon in the race to the cloud, but Apple now has the freedom to offer a range of features that rivals are prevented from rolling out because of the licensing restrictions,” continues the article. Rumors state that Apple will use a technology acquired from Lala called “scan and match.” Instead of uploading a subscribers music library to Apple’s cloud-music service, the company would scan a music collection and provide access to the master track it has a license to. Apple and the music labels in question declined to comment on the report when contacted by CNET. More →
According to a report filed by The Wall Street Journal, peer-to-peer networking site LimeWire and several major record labels may be working on an out-of-court settlement in a copyright infringement case from 2006. “Lawyers for several major record labels have held at least three settlement conferences with representatives of a file-sharing service that they sued for copyright infringement, according to a federal court docket entry, indicating that the two sides may reach an agreement on a financial penalty instead of waiting for a jury award,” reads the report. LimeWire was found guilty of allowing users to upload and share unlicensed, copyrighted materials over its network. Arista Records, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI Group are all named plaintiffs — LimeWire and its founder, Mark Gorton, are named as defendants. Representatives from the two camps did not respond to the WSJ’s request for comment. More →
According to sources speaking to The Music Void, Apple may launch a revamped MobileMe service this year with a new “music locker” feature, which would allow iTunes users to store and access music in the cloud. The idea of an online storage feature in MobileMe is nothing new, but Apple may already have a deal with Warner Music Group that will allow users to access music in the cloud. This could, for example, allow users to stream music from their iTunes library to any computer, or allow users to re-download tracks they’ve already paid for. Despite rumors that a free version of MobileMe is in the works, The Music Void argues that Apple will charge around $20 per year for the new, cloud service. For now it’s all a hearsay, but hopefully we’ll hear more in the next month or so. More →
A report on Wednesday claims European streaming music extraordinaire Spotify is “a few weeks away” from signing a new deal with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company. Reuters cites people familiar with the talks in reporting the deal, which will give Spotify access to Universal’s massive catalog of music in the U.S. Spotify has already inked a deal with Sony and the company is thought to be getting close to a U.S. launch. Despite the company’s progress, however, the report suggests Spotify is considering a launch without having signed a deal with Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music label. Spotify currently offers a streaming music service in Europe and has been making considerable efforts of late to launch in the U.S. The service allows subscribers to listen to songs on demand and stream customized Internet radio stations to computers, cell phones and other devices. More →
This morning Nokia announced a major victory in its fight to become a digital music retailer. Warner Music Group, one of the biggest record labels in the industry, has signed on as a content provider for Nokia’s still-unfolding ‘Comes With Music’ offering. We have discussed Comes With Music a few times here on BGR but the concept in a nutshell is that Nokia is building a mobile music service. The mobile music store has already launched in several regions and Comes With Music would grant purchasers of certain handsets a year of all-you-can-eat free music downloads from said store. Nokia has stated that Comes With Music will launch in the second half of this year but the all-knowing interweb has had mixed feelings about the potential of the offering. We think that if Nokia can be a bit more forward-thinking and throw some technology advancements into the mix they could really have a winner on their hands. As it stands now however, we’re not sure we’ve seen enough innovation to really make Nokia’s offering stand out. Playing catch-up just isn’t going to cut it in this day and age so hopefully Nokia has a few surprises waiting for us at the launch.