Apple Reaches Deal with Sony Over Cloud Music

As work on the rumored cloud music service nears finalization for an official WWDC announcement, Bloomberg reported last night Apple has reached a deal with Sony Music Entertainment, following reports that the company managed to sign the Warner Music Group and EMI. This leaves Universal, the biggest label of all four in the United States, out of the equation, but according to the rumors Apple's Eddy Cue is actively focused on closing all the remaining paperwork with music labels by next week.

Apple has reached licensing accords with Sony Corp. (6758)’s music division, EMI Group and Warner Music Group, the people said. Universal Music Group, the largest recording company, is close to a deal, another person said. The company also would need to reach agreements with music publishers, which control different rights than the labels.

Apple's cloud music service is said to be part of a major MobileMe revamp the company has been working on for the past two years, which will include several new functionalities and a new price point with basic features offered for free. As for the music service, it's unclear whether Apple will adopt an upload system like Google and Amazon or a subscription-based delivery with songs coming from the iTunes Store, but a patent surfaced yesterday seems to suggest Apple's implementation will go as far as allowing users to upload their own songs, and stream others they don't own from a larger "content source" like the iTunes Store.