Apple Challenges Google, Amazon for Musical Supremacy in the Cloud

Brad Chacos

Songs from the cloud? No, its not the name of a LSD-induced Beatles guitar-fest. It's the future of music, from the sounds of it, and it has all of the major players rattling their sabers and baring their teeth at one another. In an obvious grab at some of Apple's musical market share, Google and Amazon have both recently rolled out cloud-based services that let users upload music to company servers, then stream the songs to Internet-connected devices. Apple's response? "Pfah! Who needs uploading?"

A Bloomberg report published late last night
cites three anonymous sources who claim that, unlike Google and Amazon's offerings, Apple plans on skipping the tedious uploading part entirely by scanning iTunes users' music collections and creating a copy of it on Apple servers.

So how did Apple pull off what Google and Amazon couldn't? Better paperwork. The other two companies couldn't get the big four music publishers to sign licensing agreements. Without a license, the companies can't offer the songs from their servers. Google really, really tried: Bloomberg reports they offered the music companies a cool $100 mil up front, but the publishers balked because they feel that Google searches and YouTube send users to pirated content. Apple's taken the time (and, presumably, shelled out serious cash) to get the publishers in their corner.

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