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Apple Negotiating With Record Companies Over Cloud Service?

According to sources who talked to Bloomberg, Apple is negotiating with the key record companies of Universal, Sony, EMI and Warner for an improved iTunes service that would simplify access to music that users have purchased. The service would allegedly allow consumers to retrieve a backup of all their music perhaps if their originals were lost.

According to Bloomberg’s three sources, an agreement could be announced midyear which could have the potential of bringing consumers “closer to universal access to content centrally stored on the Internet.” The record companies are supposedly concerned of the gaining popularity of Internet services such as Pandora, which allow users to stream songs rather than purchase them and want to offer users who purchase music a similar convenience.

The agreement may be, as has been rumored for many months, relating to Apple eventually putting its acquisition of Lala to use and allowing users to store all of their purchased music online, as has been rumoured previously. It would appeal to the record companies which would benefit from users purchasing songs whilst being beneficial to consumers who could access and stream their music from anywhere.

Apple and the record companies declined to comment to Bloomberg but there is no doubt that the record companies will be looking for a solution to lackluster digital sales which only rose by 1% in 2010 whilst compact disc sales dropped nearly 13%.  There is also the possibility that this could be linked in with the rumored MobileMe revamp which was suggested could have storage capacity for various multimedia content, possibly including iTunes songs.

[Via Bloomberg]

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