Apple has apparently struck a deal with Universal Music, which means all four of the major record labels are onboard with the company’s iCloud music storage and streaming service. iCloud will be officially unveiled on Monday, June 6, at the World Wide Developers Conference Steve Jobs keynote event, and is said to be priced at US$25 a year, according to unnamed sources cited by the L.A. Times.
Apple plans to show off iCloud next week
Getting all four of the major labels — Warner Music, Sony, EMI and Universal Music — to sign on was critical for Apple since the company wanted to offer features that go beyond the basic storage offerings that Amazon and Google have already rolled out. Rumors claim Apple’s service will scan user’s iTunes libraries and auto-populate their online music storage space without uploading songs.
Rumors also say the iCloud service will store higher quality songs online for users that have lower bit rate recordings in their iTunes libraries, and they’ll be able to stream their online content to computers, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
As part of Apple’s deal, the big four music labels will get a 30 percent cut of iCloud revenue along with 12 percent for song rights holders.
Apple took the unusual step of announcing ahead of the WWDC keynote that it will be showing off iCloud, although the company didn’t offer any details about what features the service includes. It is generally assumed to include the rumored music storage service as either an add-on for MobileMe, or as a rebranded MobileMe with music storage features.
The Mac Observer will be covering the keynote live on Monday. The keynote starts at 10AM pacific time and will be at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, California.