Apple officially joined the cloud competition this week when the company announced the launch of its iCloud music service. The announcement came straight from Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the June 6 session of the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Jobs began his portion of the keynote by saying that keeping content synched among iPhones, Macs and iPads was “driving us crazy.” The solution: “Demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device” and “move the digital hub … into the cloud.” Now, if users purchase songs on their iPhones, the songs are automatically and wirelessly sent to the cloud and distributed to the other devices. And this isn’t just an Apple-only service: iCloud will push content to your lil’ old non-Apple PCs too.
Music content has specific regulations with iCloud. Any songs purchased on iTunes will get pushed to your different devices for free. But any songs not purchased on iTunes will require using the iTunes Match program, which will match your non-iTunes tracks with those in the 18-million-song Apple catalog. Match does cost $24.99 a year, but according to the following Apple chart, it may still give you more bang for your buck, compared to other recently launched cloud services:
Another difference between iCloud and the rest? It has worked out deals with music labels to combat that whole legality thing. Everyone’s got their heads in the clouds, but it seems like Apple might be the only one with its feet on the ground.
In other news…
• The Black Keys is suing for song usage, according to Billboard. New York’s Della Femina Rothschild Jeary And Partners advertising agency used the group’s song “Tighten Up” without the band’s permission in a New Jersey bank commercial that ran during the Grammys. Now the Black Keys is asking for compensation and the agency is learning that borrowing without asking is called stealing. The more you know.
• Amazon’s brilliant move to sell Lady Gaga’s Born This Way for 99 cents May 23 not only crashed the site, it also might have cost the retailer $3 million, according to the New York Times. Gaga is also experiencing some monetary lag, as her album sales fell 84% in week No. 2, according to Digital Music News. Though it is not unreasonable that the woman would experience a dip after selling 1.1 million copies in seven days.
Industry Wrap is a weekly CMJ column covering industry-related music news. Send tips to Christine Werthman at email@example.com.