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Apple to Charge for Music Cloud

Apple could allow users to access certain aspects of its cloud music streaming service for free – at least initially. According to music industry insiders speaking to CNET, while there may be an initial free period, users who wish to continue using the service will be charged an annual fee.

Billboard writer Ed Christman reported last September that Google planned to charge $25 a year for a subscription to its cloud music service.

Similar reports have surfaced that Apple will charge around $20, but no one knows for sure exactly how much the services will indeed cost.

Amazon is currently offering a cloud-based music storage system where users can store existing music and download new tunes from Amazon.com in the cloud.

The Seattle-based company is the first major industry player to release a cloud music service, giving it a competitive advantage over Google and Apple. If rumors of $20 or $25 for a year of service on Google or Apple where users can rent and store music are true, Amazon won’t have that competitive advantage for very long.

Meanwhile, Apple and Google continue to seek licenses for their services. So far, Apple has a deal with Warner Music Group, But Google’s negotiations with the four top labels have stalled. Amazon got off the ground with a cloud music service last month and charges based on the amount of data a user stores.

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