Apple will have to fork out between US$100m and $150m to the four largest record labels to secure music for its forthcoming iCloud service. The electronics giant has agreed to pay between $25m and $50m each to Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music and EMI to release tracks, ahead of iCloud's official unveiling by CEO Steve Jobs tomorrow.
iCloud is a cloud-based storage service, which will enable Apple users to access music libraries on their iPads, iPods and iPhones. It follows in the footsteps of similar releases by online foes Google and Amazon.
A source told the New York Times that iCloud will initially be free to download via iTunes, but that a $25 annual charge is being considered for the future. The fee would be shared between Apple and the music industry, with the former taking 30 per cent while the latter gets 12 per cent. The remainder will be shared among the artists.