Cloud Based iTunes May Not Be Coming Soon
Late last week, Apple announced that Lala.com; the online music streaming service that the company acquired in December of last year would cease its operations by the end of this month.
This announcement had triggered a wave of speculations over an imminent launch of a cloud-based iTunes service.
However, according to sources that Peter Kafka from MediaMemo spoke to, a web-based iTunes may not be coming anytime soon.
According to Kafka, one of the primary reasons is over pricing issues. Apple is learnt to be working on a cloud based "locker" service from where users can stream the content they own on to multiple devices. Record labels are apparently demanding a higher price on content since they argue that streaming songs across multiple devices should constitute multiple use. However, Apple is learnt to be against this strategy since it may effectively slow down the sale of digital content.
Kafta reports that an alternate pricing model is being worked out:
"Apple could also try a subscription/rental model for iTunes, like the one currently offered by the likes of Rhapsody, MOG and Spotify (at least in Europe). But no one has figured out how to rent music at a price that satisfies consumers, the labels and the music services. At least not on a large scale."
The disagreements between Apple and the record labels have meant that the discussions, which began earlier this year, is yet to get past the preliminary stages. Kafka notes that the issues could be sorted out through a set of new negotiations between the concerned parties. However, this process could effectively push the launch of a new cloud based iTunes service by at least a few more months.
How much will you be willing to pay for the iTunes subscription service?Will you be ready to purchase songs and TV shows at a higher price to stream them to multiple devices?
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