Licensing negotiations delay full launch until next year
The music storage portion of Apple’s new iCloud service won’t be fully available to customers in the UK until 2012.
UK users will have to wait until the beginning of next year before they’re able to store their iTunes in the iCloud, because Apple are still involved in negotiations with record companies regarding publishing rights.
A spokesperson for the Performing Rights Society (PRS) – who work with musicians and music publishers to ensure they’re paid for their work – claimed that negotiations between themselves and Apple had only just begun. “The licensing team at the PRS have started talks with Apple, but are a long way off from any deals being signed,” they said. “It is very much the early stages of the negotiations and is similar to the launch of iTunes – which began in the US and took a while to roll out to other countries.”
Earlier this week at a special conference in San Francisco, Steve Jobs unveiled the new iCloud service, which will allow users to store their material in the ‘cloud’ and update their iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac or PC automatically via wireless, when any of them is updated manually. Additionally, any song purchased in iTunes will be automatically synced to other iTunes devices without requiring extra downloading.
But while users in the USA will get the benefit of the whole system this autumn, industry experts have claimed that UK customers won’t be able to utilize the full iCloud service until 2012, with a music executive from a major record label who wished to remain anonymous claiming: “Tentative talks have begun between the major labels and Apple in the UK. However, all talks are at the really early stages and no one expects to see the cloud music service live on this side of the pond until 2012.”
Meanwhile, Mark Mulligan, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, said: “Apple’s cloud music service will not launch in the UK until at least quarter one of 2012. These types of negotiations take a long time… for one thing the UK arms of all the major record labels are biding their time and waiting to see how the service affects download sales in the US before they sign up to anything.”