CNET is reporting that Apple has finalised a cloud music licensing deal with EMI Music, and is ‘very near’ to inking agreements with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, joining an existing deal with Warner Music Group. The suggestion is that all four major labels will be in the bag before the start of Apple’s WWDC developer conference on 6 June, fuelling speculation that Apple may unveil its cloud music offering during the event. We still wonder if the company may leave it until the traditional Autumn music-focused press launch. Its service is expected to use scan-and-match technology to ensure users don’t have to upload all their songs to Apple’s servers – one of the requirements in Amazon and Google’s rival services. We’d also point out that while having all four major labels on board is important for Apple’s service, much of the coverage of its dealmaking has focused exclusively on that – yet Apple will also be talking to publishers and non-major rightsholders.

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