updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
Apple wants international iTunes cloud deals
Apple is pressing to get the same deals for iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match in the rest of the world that it has in the US, contacts explained Friday. Label negotiation details relayed to CNET had it replicating the same terms in other countries. Deals were "close," but nothing had been formalized yet, the insiders said.
Among those on the short list would be France, Germany and the UK. Many anticipate Canada and Ireland being in the earlier waves.
Other countries currently only have access to a subset of iTunes' cloud features so far. A Canadian can easily re-download purchased apps and books, for example, but can't do the same for songs. iTunes Match is off limits, although CEO Tim Cook has already hinted that Apple was working to expand rights in that area.
The iTunes services form a key component of Apple's iCloud strategy and are more important again to the PC-free strategy it's pushing for iOS 5. For an ideal user, the service would let users buy music directly from a device and never have to sync it locally to the computer. If the device was lost or wiped, the owner could simply re-download tracks they're missing or stream the ones they own. Labels have been hesitant about iTunes Match, as some of them consider it a second use and may want to charge a full price again rather than accept it as a cloud backup.