Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Getting ready for some cloudsurfing with Apple’s iCloud

The big boys are here. Next week, Steve Jobs will walk onstage at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and introduce the world to iCloud, Apple’s new cloud-based service. It is not known at this stage if Jobs will sport a black …

Fri, Jun 3, 2011, 10:00

   

The big boys are here. Next week, Steve Jobs will walk onstage at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and introduce the world to iCloud, Apple’s new cloud-based service. It is not known at this stage if Jobs will sport a black poloneck for the occasion, but chances are that he probably will toe the usual satorial line.

What’s also unknown is what exactly iCloud will be. We can expect it to be a music streaming service of some sort, a Spotify with Apple’s bells and whistles, if you will.

Unlike recent cloud services launched by Google and Amazon, Apple already have the bulk of the music labels onside. According to reports, Apple have completed deals with all of the Big Four music companies, though it’s unknown if they’ve also cut deals with the independent sector. Reports also claim that 70 per cent of revenues from the service will pass to the music companies.

It must have made for a fascinating negotiation process. The music companies know that they need Apple, but they also must have remembered how the iTunes deal was more of a winner for Apple than the music side.

Apple too realised that it would be easier to have the labels onside for a new streaming service rather than trying to circumvent them like Google and Amazon have done.

Apple’s entry into the space will also bring a greater profile for the sector. While there has been a lot of talk about music-in-the-cloud in the last 18 months, there’s been little to get really excited about.

But when you’ve a company like Apple, who’ve already changed the music game once with iTunes, getting stuck in, you know the story is going to get more interesting. Let the fun and games commence.

UPDATE: report on the Apple iCloud announcement here.