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iTunes Cloud Streaming To Float, Signs EMI Music

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 19/05/2011

Apple has signed another leading music labels as it looks to kick off steaming service, according to reports.

Click to enlarge
And iTunes, who were one of the founders of the digital music category, are also said to be 'very near' penning deals with the other two music stalwarts - Universal Music Group and Sony Music, say music industry sources, and has already an arrangement in place with Warner, CNET reports. 

The proposed iTunes streaming service ran from the cloud is Steve Jobs' giant's response to Google Beta digital download service, which it launched just last week at I/O developer conference.

Beta's "music locker" allows up to 20,000 tracks to be downloaded to library free of charge, a service which is ran from the cloud. Amazon also offers similar digital music service, which it launched earlier this year.

iTunes' new service is likely to offer a similar free for all menu allowing unlimited downloads to iPads, iPhones or Mac's and could help attract back users lost to other early music streamers like Spotify and Pandora.

And Apple's advantage over Beta is that Google has yet to sign any major deals with the 'big four' record labels, a feat which the former now appears to have pulled off. 

Google's exec chairman confirmed earlier this week the lack of agreements with music labels were over financial terms.

"This is an important issue. I've spent months personally talking to the music industry - as have others in the company - and we were unable to come to a proper deal. It's not like we didn't try," said a disapppointed Eric Schmidt.

With licensing agreements in place, iTunes will be able to offer service to top rivals offering, music industry sources say.

However, it is believed Apple could charge a subscription fee for the streaming service. However, neither Beta nor Amazons's services are yet available down under.

Music lovers could get a hint of what is to come at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicking off on June.

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