Amazon's Cloud Storage Gets Negative Response from Labels

Major record labels want to establish licenses for such services

March 31, 2011 4:20 PM ET
Amazon's Cloud Storage Gets Negative Response from Labels

When Amazon launched its new Cloud Drive service on Tuesday, the digital retailer did so without establishing licensing deals with record labels, which has led to a very negative response from major labels. The service – which allows customers to store their music files on Amazon's servers and stream the music on portable players – has some ambiguous legality, which has led competitors such as Google and Apple to hold off on debuting similar services in order to deal with licensing issues. Billboard's sources indicate that many labels are studying Amazon's service to determine whether or not it has broken copyright laws or the terms of existing deals.

Contest: Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone

"We don't believe we need licenses to store customers' files," Amazon's Director of Music Craig Pape told Billboard, explaining that the company does not see a difference between their service and a customer backing up files on an external hard drive. That said, the Wall Street Journal has reported that Amazon is reaching out to labels for licensing deals necessary to launch more advanced features within their Cloud service, such as song and playlist sharing and Pandora-like music discovery options.

Photos: Random Notes

It's easy to see why major record labels are eager to set up proper licensing deals. Cloud storage is just hitting the market now, but all signs point in the direction of it becoming a huge part of how we will listen to music in the near future. Labels are hoping to get in on the ground floor and establish ways to profit from this new technology before it's too late to stake a legal claim on a potentially enormous source of revenue.

Gallery: Psy-Ops and the General

For the moment, giant corporations such as Amazon, Google and Apple have the bandwidth and development resources necessary to create and market cloud storage services on a large scale, but it won't be long before this technology becomes widespread. There are already companies such as mSpot and Carbonite who provide similar "digital locker" services that can be accessed on mobile devices.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »