At WWDC 2011, Steve Jobs unveiled iTunes in the Cloud and “one more thing” goodie iTunes Match, a move that TuneCore CEO and founder Jeff Price believes will monetize piracy and reset the music industry.
iTunes in the Cloud will allow users to download any songs purchased in iTunes to all of their devices, at no extra charge (up to 5GB of music). Once the service is launched — likely Monday — any music purchased on iTunes from here will be synced automatically…
While this is all well and good — and a long time coming — the real clincher here is iTunes Match, which will automatically, and in a matter of minutes, match songs that you ripped to songs in the store and add them to your library. You won’t have to pay for each individual song, but you will have to shell out about $25 a year for the ability to have your library available.
“This puts together a model that allows people to make money off of pirated music,” says Price, pointing out that users who pirate music will end up paying for it anyway if they decide to go with iTunes Match, putting money back in the hands of rights holders.
“The gap between those two things have never been bridged before — the needs of the consumer and the rights holders,” he adds, pointing out how the service benefits both parties, while recent products like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music Beta launched without label participation, and consequently, reimbursement.
Jobs did not mention revenue split during the conference, but the rumors say that publishers will garner 12% of the revenue, major labels will get 58% and Apple will keep 30%. Price also tells us that all bands on iTunes using TuneCore will be available on both iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match.
“Napster trained people to download music and listen to it on their computers,” he says. “This new service will help people become more comfortable with the idea of streaming their music. And that’s what resets the whole music industry. Reeducating the consumers on how to listen to music.”
In that respect, Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud could be just the thing that finally legitimizes the likes of music subscription services like Rdio, MOG and Spotify. “It’s great to see Apple bringing more awareness to online music streaming,” says a rep from Grooveshark. “We certainly don’t view iCloud as competitive to us, because the service that iCloud offers really isn’t the same as Grooveshark.”