Amazon chasing Cloud Player deals over label “bad blood”

Mar 31, 2011
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Amazon may have taken a cavalier attitude toward music licensing issues when it launched Cloud Player, but behind the scenes it's believed to be scurrying desperately to secure new streaming deals with labels. According to a WSJ report, Amazon is in talks with the four major record labels "aimed at minimizing bad blood"; the retailer had only informed labels as to its intentions with Cloud Player the week before the service launched.

The exact nature of those deals is unknown, amid disagreement over whether Amazon's implementation of cloud-based storage and streaming actually requires different licensing at all. Previously Cablevision won the right to stream copies of customers' shows from a "remote DVR" service; however, that system could only be accessed by one user at a time, whereas Amazon Cloud Player can stream one track to up to five separate people simultaneously.

The Cablevision deal also insisted that the company hold a separate copy of each TV show for each customer; that could soon become unwieldy for Amazon's system. Instead, it's believed the retailer is pushing for licenses whereby it could maintain a core database of popular tracks from which all users would stream, significantly reducing the amount of server space required.


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