This past Tuesday, Amazon made the first big step into cloud music storage by launching Amazon Cloud. Many were surprised that they essentially beat Google and Apple to the punch as both have been in the works of launching their own cloud music service for quite some time now. However, the reason why Amazon was able to beat them to the punch is the same reason why labels are ticked off by their new service: they went ahead without establishing licensing deals.
While legally Amazon does not need licenses with record labels for their “passive” set up, which mainly serves as music storage through computers and Android phones, labels are nonetheless disappointed that they still launched without them, or at least without more notice. Amazon Director of Music Craig Pape, however, argued the following to Billboard.biz:
“We don’t believe we need licenses to store the customers’ files. We look at it the same way as if someone bought an external hard drive and copy files on there for backup.”
However, Amazon might not be as confident about that statement any more. Only less than a week after its launch, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is making efforts to talk with labels about licensing deals. Part of the reasoning behind this is to improve their cloud service while also trying to regain the four major labels’ trust and favor.
The issue now is whether the labels will end up playing ball. On one hand, it would be in their best interests to establish deals with Amazon simply because there is huge potential in cloud music’s future. On the other hand, reports are claiming that labels are disappointed with both Amazon’s lack of notice regarding their actions as well as the actual product itself. Plus, labels aren’t exactly known to be the easiest to negotiate with in regards to music licensing (just ask Google, Apple and even Spotify).
We’ll keep you updated if more develops, but for now Amazon Cloud is still up and running. Check out the service for yourself and let us know what you think. So far we’ve heard mixed reviews, but we want to hear more in our comment section below.