Sony Executive Suggests Label Could Split From iTunes Store
February 11, 2011

Sony executive has suggested that the company could pull its music from Apple's iTunes store to focus on its own Music Unlimited digital music service. Michal Ephraim, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, told Australia's The Age that if Music Unlimited takes off, " then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?" he said. "Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now." He added, "Publishers are being held ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold."

Ephraim's interview was promoting the launch of Music Unlimited in Australia. Apple Insider reports that there are tensions between Sony and Apple, following the rejection of an e-bookstore app from the iPad app store.

In related news, Apple is reportedly one step closer to cloud-based music storage, as Apple Insider reports the company has filed a patent application for "Audio Clips For Announcing Remotely Accessed Media Items." The system described in the patent would allow for a centralized list of media files to be saved locally and remotely.

Apple Insider speculates that the patent could allow its long-rumored "cloud" system to let users "seamlessly merge their locally saved media files with additional content available for streaming." A centrailized list of such media files would allow for playback of the content wherever it is located, either locally on in "the cloud."

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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