Over a year after Amazon launched its Cloud Drive and Player system, without licenses from the major record labels, the online retailer reportedly has agreements with both Universal Music Group and EMI. Sources tell CNet that the licensing deals with UMG and EMI are done, and Amazon is in negotiations now with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. An official announcement from Amazon could happen in the coming weeks.
According to CNet, "Details are scarce as to what new features Amazon's cloud music service will offer as a result of the license deals, though it's likely that Amazon may soon be able to match many of the features found at Apple's iCloud." The Amazon Cloud lets users upload music, videos and other digital content onto Amazon's servers for backup and remote access.
CNet's Greg Sandoval suggests that with proper licensing from the labels, Amazon will eliminate the need for users to upload songs one-by-one into the Cloud. While iTunes Match scans a user's hard drive to identify and match their song library, Amazon could not offer this feature because of its lack of licenses. Sandoval writes, "Amazon couldn't offer a similar service because it involves creating and delivering copies of music to users who didn't technically buy them. Doing so requires a license, say the labels; otherwise, they say, such copies violate their copyrights."
In related news, Amazon announced yesterday that the Cloud Player app is now available for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.