Apple’s Upcoming ‘iCloud’ Service May Cost $25 for an Annual Subscription

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After landing contracts with the big four record labels – Warner Music Group, EMI Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment – the LA Times is reporting that Apple is closing in on deals with music publishers, which should be announced at some point today.

In essence, Apple’s iCloud seems poised to overtake the first (and firster) mover advantages of both Amazon and Google in the cloud music race to Cloudville.

While details have yet to be confirmed, sources are reporting that there’ll be a $25 annual subscription fee (after a free trial period) to be supplemented with advertising.

As for the revenue sharing model? The LA Times has the scoop:

The agreements, finalized this week, call for Apple to share 70% of any revenue from iCloud’s music service with record labels, as well as 12% with music publishers holding the songwriting rights. Apple is expected to keep the remaining 18%, said people knowledgeable with the terms.

As we previously wrote, Apple’s foray into the cloud is important in order to streamline file sharing across their products (iPhones, iPads, etc.), with their recent rollout of iWork’s productivity services seemingly rolling out the carpet for iCloud.

Amazon’s big fumble in trying to be first to the cloud was its failure to get approval from major music labels, which beset it with a heap of legal obstacles. Google is better positioned to take advantage of the cloud with its market-leading Android audience, and its beta launch of Google Music had a nice handful of favorable reviews. But like Amazon, Google’s initial failure to obtain the support of the major record labels may have caused Google Music to be half-baked, at least according to some bloggers.

But we’ll see how Apple does when it officially announces the service on Monday at WWDC (even though the whole idea is over 10 years old).

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