Apple has managed to sign the final of the big 4 music labels, Universal Music Group, to a deal over its iCloud service, according to sources speaking to C|Net. This, along with further reports that Apple
has signed a number of large music publishers, points to Apple being able to launch its iCloud service very soon.
Apple has already announced that it will discuss iCloud at WWDC 2011 in San Francisco on Monday, June 6. Although Apple only revealed the name, and no details about the service, it's been known for some time that a cloud-based music service was in the works from the Cupertino, CA-based company.
Revenue from iCloud will be split as follows, according to the report: labels will get 58 percent, publishers will receive 12 percent, and Apple will receive 30 percent. iCloud
will not offer streaming on Monday post-WWDC keynote, but it will be enabled soon, the sources added. However, the Apple digital locker will only store iTunes-purchased music at first, although Apple has plans to change that in the future.
Amazon.com and Google both beat Apple into the cloud, but neither one of those achieved licensing agreements. Both of those services are free however, and Apple's is expected to require a subscription.
That said, iCloud won't be restricted to music, at least if Apple has its way. Recently, it was revealed that Apple is trying to license movies and TV shows for iCloud. Reportedly, there's a snag: some of the studios have exclusive deals with HBO.
Still, it's expected that at least some video will eventually be added to iCloud.