Apple is slowly but surely building its own massive content delivery network (CDN) which could become the base for an expansion of its iTunes music service into on-demand streaming. Okay, the latter part of that is our speculation, but the former information comes from a Wall Street Journal piece that makes useful reading for anyone in the music industry. “Apple is signing long-term deals to lock up bandwidth and hiring more networking experts, steps that companies like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. have already taken to gain more control over the vast content they distribute,” explains the piece, complete with an estimate that “Apple has in a short time bought enough bandwidth from Web carriers to move hundreds of gigabits of data each second”. The piece also refers to faster iTunes Store downloads as one possible benefit, although the primary focus may be television. But Apple beefing up its CDN can also be seen as an important step enabling the global rollout of its iTunes Radio streaming service, and just possibly an expansion of its features into full on-demand streaming in the coming years.

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