Apple‚Äö√Ñ√¥s cloud is on the horizon.
Recent reports have listed that Apple has recently signed deals with EMI music for its cloud music service, which has been rumored to be called iCloud. Along with this is the coming deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, which will be then placed against Warner Music Group who signed originally. These four giants put Apple in a position that Google and Amazon are simply not in, mainly because they do not have the licensing.
The cloud music service is one that allows universal access to music instead of forcing users to actually carry it with them. What this does is switch to the digital streaming model that has been so successful in video with Hulu and Netflix, and now make it likewise accessible for music. Amazon and Google‚Äö√Ñ√¥s service essentially ask users to upload their music for use, but Apple already has a detailed infrastructure with their iTunes software-store combination and they will likely just be able to see what files the user is working with and then just create a direct link to recordings on their master servers. This will make the process much quicker, and will eventually land a large blow against piracy since users will not be able to create their own infrastructure for cloud services.
Apple will most likely use a subscription fee system, which seems to be the model for services like this. That will end up being a profitable mode if users become as hooked to this as they were for video counterparts, and with the kind of freedom that the licenses indicate then it may be here to stay.