updated 04:25 pm EDT, Thu June 2, 2011
Apple gets last iCloud music deal with Universal
Insiders slipped word Thursday afternoon that Apple had completed the last of the major deals it needed to fully license iCloud. The deal would have all four major labels onboard. At least "some" of their publisher partners have signed on as well, CNET understood.
Many of these deals would be last minute if completed on time.
For the first time, the explanation of the revenue model for iCloud songs has been uncovered. As Apple always insists on for its deals, whatever extra was paid into the deal by users would give Apple a 30 percent cut. The remaining majority would be split at 58 percent for the labels and 12 percent for the publishers.
Service wouldn't go live immediately after the WWDC keynote but would come "soon" based on the tip. Disappointing some users, the locker would only store music bought from iTunes at first, although plans supposedly exist to store any playable song at a later point. Both Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta allow playing any format they can recognize or transcode, but they also need to be uploaded for streaming to work.
Apple's deal, even with its limitations, could still be a victory over Amazon and Google in getting deals neither of them managed. Amazon simply decided to launch in basic form and negotiate later, while Google declined to resolve its conflict and ended up dropping any near-term plans for a music store along with its more ambitious cloud music ideas.