Is it Too Late for Amazon to Copy Apple?
Numerous reports suggest that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is inching closer to a licensing deal with major record labels, which would essentially allow the dot-com retailer to create its own version of iTunes Match.
Up until now, Amazon could not legally allow users to stream songs that they own without forcing them to upload a copy of each song to their servers. It's all part of the music industry's effort to make it as painful as possible for people who legally obtain music to continue enjoying it wherever they go.
If CNET's sources are to be believed, however, this is about to change. Sony Music (NYSE: SNE), EMI, and Universal Music Group have reportedly reached an agreement with Amazon that will allow the company to scan users' hard drives, verify their music collection, and stream that collection online without requiring an upload.
In a nutshell, this is essentially the service that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) offered consumers when it launched iCloud and iTunes Match. To use the latter service, users were required to pay $25 a year. Amazon's pricing model is not yet known.
According to CNET, an official announcement could come "within weeks."
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