iTunes Cloud Music Service to Start Free, Then Charge

Apple has reportedly released pricing details of its planned iTunes music-streaming service.

CNet reports that music industry insiders familiar with the negotiations with Apple say the company will initially offer the cloud-based service for free, introducing charges at a later date.

Apple hasn't actually revealed the exact price it is planning to charge for an annual subscription to the service.

Last week, it was reported that Apple had struck deals with two of the four major record labels - EMI, Universal, Warner Music and Sony BMG - and that it was currently negotiating with the other two.

This contrasts with the approach rival Amazon took with its Cloud Player service. The company launched Cloud Player in the United States only last month without first signing deals with the major labels.

The labels were reportedly less than impressed by this, though Amazon was presumably in a rush to be the first to launch a cloud-based streaming service ahead of Google and Apple.

It is still unclear whether any iTunes music-streaming service would be launched in international markets or in the US only.

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