Labels move to combat stalling download sales

Apple are in negotiations with record companies to allow unlimited use of iTunes music purchases.

According to Bloomberg, Apple are in talks with a number of labels, including Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, to give users more flexible access to music they’ve downloaded.

If the negotiations are successful, users would be able to permanently backup their iTunes downloads if the originals are damaged or lost.

It would also allow users to export their downloads to iPads, iPod and iPhone devices from the same iTunes account. Currently, users can only copy their iTunes account to five specified devices.

The negotiations are thought to signal record label’s intentions to keep download sales growing. Digital download stalled in 2010, with sales rising just 1% from 2009. This was against a general decline in album sales of 12.7%.

None of the record labels involved have commented on the story.