Apple is working to secure worldwide iCloud music rights, as the company prepares to launch the service and use it to compete against Android.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is in discussions with record companies and music publishers to secure international licenses for its iCloud service, according to CNET. Apple is reportedly close to reaching a deal for licenses in Germany, France and the U.K., but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Apple’s online cloud storage service will allow users to share music, e-mail, photos and calendars among their devices, but if the company can’t ink international licensing agreements, the music feature will only be available in the U.S.
Analysts believe Apple will reach a deal because of its good relationship with the music industry, but the company likely wants to strike an agreement in time to announce at tomorrow’s iPhone keynote event.
The deal would allow users outside of the U.S. the ability to transfer music bought from iTunes into the cloud. Music obtained any other way could also be stored, but users will have to subscribe to the “iTunes Match” service for $25 a year.
Apple’s iCloud service is the company’s answer to cloud offerings from Google and Amazon, both of which users can access with Android devices. The iPhone maker performs well in the U.S., but lags behind Android overseas.
Apple’s iCloud may be a key feature to sway international users of other Apple products like the MacBook and iPad into getting an iPhone, but without the ability to access music and other media in the cloud, the service may be much less appealing.
The iCloud service is expected to become a major selling point for the iPhone when it launches with iOS 5 later this month. Analysts are so far impressed with the beta service, which is eventually expected to make storing data in the cloud an effortless process for casual users.
Despite all the praise iCloud has garnered, and analysts’ high expectations, the overall success of the service will be judged by the number of people that use it, a number likely much higher if it’s firing on all cylinders overseas.