M+E Daily

Amazon Aims for the Cloud with New Music Services

With its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, Amazon is betting that it can entice customers to upload their entire digital music collections to the company’s servers, in exchange for the ability to play songs on any computer or Android mobile device.

In launching the new services on Tuesday, Amazon is also looking to gain a jump on Apple and Google, both of which are reportedly mulling introductions of similar cloud-based offerings later this year.

“We’re excited to offer you the ability to buy anywhere, play anywhere and keep your music in one place,” Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, says in a letter sent to account holders today (via The Wrap). Customers who purchase an MP3 album from Amazon will now receive a cloud-based copy of the music for streaming as well. Users of Cloud Drive can upload up to 5GB of MP3 or AAC files for free, gaining additional storage by purchasing music at Amazon’s MP3 store or by paying an annual subscription fee.

Customers can use the service to store photos, videos, or documents as well, according to Amazon.

Apple, in comparison, still urges iTunes customers to back up music that they purchase via iTunes onto physical discs.

Amazon rejects the notion that it needs to renegotiate its music licenses with labels to offer the new services. “We don’t need a license to store music,” Craig Pape, Amazon’s director of music, tells The New York Times. “The functionality is the same as an external hard drive.”

But as sources tell the Times, digital copyright laws may be more nuanced. The legality of the streaming service may also stand as a separate issue from Amazon’s purported ability to store customers’ music collections.

Billboard reports on how the services are vexing labels, while paidContent gives Cloud Player a spin.