Storm clouds gather over Amazon’s new music locker

30 Mar 2011

Amazon’s new Cloud Drive has hit its first major hurdle, just 24 hours after launch, as major label Sony hit out at the company’s decision to launch the service without signing new licence deals to cover music streaming.

Amazon yesterday launched its new family of cloud services aimed at consumers – Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player for Web and Amazon Cloud Player for Android – stealing a march on rivals like Google and Apple, who are planning their own music locker services.

Amazon’s new service lets users store up to 1,000 songs on its servers for free and stream them over an internet connection via computer browsers or Android phones.

However, Sony Music, which represents artists like Shakira (pictured) and Kings of Leon, has expressed anger at the decision to launch the service without completing licence renegotiations.

Music lockers in the cloud are set to be the next big thing in digital music. Google is planning to launch such a service in May and Apple plans to launch its iTunes for the cloud in June.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years