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Apple inks deal with Warner Music for iTunes cloud service - report


Apple has reportedly reached an agreement with Warner Music, the third-largest record label, for its anticipated cloud-based music streaming service.

Citing sources in the music industry, CNet's Greg Sandoval reported Friday that Warner Music Group and Apple have reached a deal for Apple's unannounced iTunes cloud service. Warner Music is home to major acts including Linkin Park, Flo Rida and Green Day.

A day earlier it was reported that two of the four major record labels have agreed to Apple's streaming plans. It is unknown whether Warner is one of those two unnamed labels, or a third major player that has signed with Apple.

Apple Vice President Eddy Cue is believed to be in New York in an attempt to reach deals with the remaining labels. Industry executives were quoted as saying that Apple has been "aggressive and thoughtful" in its negotiations.

Exactly how Apple's rumored cloud service will operate and how much, if anything, it will cost to stream music remains unknown. But the fact that Apple is reaching agreements with labels makes it unlikely that Apple's product will rely solely on users uploading their own media, as Amazon has done without record label participation in its own recently launched cloud storage and streaming service.

Earlier Thursday, Reuters reported that Apple has "completed work" on the long-rumored iTunes streaming service. It said Apple is "set to launch" the product, which will allow users to store their songs on a remote server and access them from an Internet-connected device.

Cloud streaming would allow users to access their media, including large music libraries, without needing to take up local storage on an Internet-connected device like an iPhone.

Music industry executives have reportedly agreed to terms with Apple without actually seeing the new streaming product. Apple has only shared "broad strokes" of its plans, but has led those executives to believe that the service could launch "pretty soon."