It’s believed Apple is pressuring music labels into agreeing to allow users to store their own music on Apple’s servers, enabling playback anywhere via streaming. TheMusicVoid says Universal Music and EMI are basically a done-deal, where Sony is believed to be less keen on the idea.
These same sources tell me that although Universal Music and EMI are more or less pushovers, Apple may actually get some pushback from Sony. Sony Corporate has declared sensou on Apple and could hold out just to mess with them. However, considering the backbone of the typical record label executive when it comes to tampering in any way with about 70% of their digital revenue, don’t expect any profiles in courage.
The expected price-tag for this new ‘Locker’ is $20, with MobileMe itself possibly becoming a free service. Perhaps email and basic syncing would be free with music syncing and other premium features for a fee.
With Steve Jobs arguably being both the music industry’s saviour and destroyer at the same time it will be interesting to see how the music world as a whole takes to the idea of storing tracks online for streaming playback.