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Apple's New "Cloud Deal" With Warner Music

by Mahyar Hashemi, Published: April 22nd, 2011 4:04 PM CDT

Apple has an agreement with Warner Music Group to offer the record label's tracks on iTunes' upcoming cloud-music service, music industry sources said.

In the race to the cloud, Apple is apparently stepping on the gas. All Things Digital reported Thursday that Apple has signed two of the top four record companies and wrote that Apple content chief Eddy Cue was due to fly to New York (NYT) on Friday to try and finalize agreements with the two still unsigned labels.

It is unclear whether Warner was one of the two that had previously licensed Apple or whether the New York-based label inked an agreement on Friday. A Warner Music spokesperson declined to comment. An Apple representative was not immediately available.

Warner Music is the third-largest of the top four labels and home to such acts as Linkin Park, Flo Rida and Green Day. The other record companies are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music. At the same time as Apple makes the rounds at the labels, Google has grown frustrated and has told the labels that they are exploring the option of breaking into cloud music by striking partnerships with existing services, including Spotify, say sources with knowledge of the talks.

There's a lot of news leaking/flooding out about the land grab going on for cloud music so let us try and remember what all the fuss is about:

First, cloud music is supposed bring back riches to the record labels, stimulate music sales for iTunes and other online retailers and supply fans with added convenience.

The term "cloud" describes third-party computing. Apple and Google have discussed with the labels creating cloud services that would enable…



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