We heard a few details about streaming iTunes yesterday and it looked like an elegant way for Apple to move into the cloud-based future. Unfortunately, it looks like we may have to wait a while because the music labels aren’t quite on board.
According to CNET’s Greg Sandoval, who is well-connected when it comes to the digital music space, the music labels haven’t agreed to this type of service yet and Apple will likely not want to anger its content partners.
It is worth noting that Apple has yet to obtain necessary licenses from the top four recording companies, multiple music industry insiders told CNET. These industry insiders said Apple has indeed engaged in discussions with the music labels but that the record executives haven’t even seen all the details yet.
In the viewpoint of some at the major labels, Apple could enable iTunes users to stream songs from a home computer to other gadgets without requiring new negotiation, but for Apple to stream music from its own servers to computers and related devices, Apple CEO Steve Jobs would be required to cut a new deal, the sources told CNET.
The music industry is still a shell of its former self, as the open distribution of the Internet turned its business model on its head. Mobile music could be a key part of the industry moving forward and we’ve already seen companies like Rhapsody gain decent traction with its iPhone app.
Whenever it happens, it’s clear that Apple iTunes streaming is a competitive necessity moving forward. Rival Google Android is prepping the ability for users to stream their music from home to the handset over the air and even Microsoft has its Zune Pass up and running on some mobile phones.
Apple iTunes streaming could beat both of these because it has established users and content, now, it’s just a matter of getting it to the market.