Michael Robertson: The Bumpy Start For Cloud-Based Music
April 29, 2011 at 3:33 AM (PT)
TECHCRUNCH has posted a guest post from MP3TUNES CEO MICHAEL ROBERTSON, a 12-year veteran of the digital music business and former MP3.COM CEO. ROBERTSON takes on AMAZON's cloud-based service, and their relationships with record labels.
Writes ROBERTSON, "AMAZON defied the record labels by launching an unlicensed personal cloud music service. (Disclosure: I’m CEO of competitor MP3TUNES.) Music companies immediately expressed their dissatisfaction and AMAZON public stated they would discuss licenses with labels. Since then considerable speculation has swirled about regarding licensing discussions AMAZON, GOOGLE and APPLE are having with the four major record labels."
"The challenge for cloud services such as AMAZON's is how to appease the record labels and still have a consumer friendly service that is financially viable," writes ROBERTSON. "Even one of the above restrictions renders a cloud service mostly useless. Combined they would make a locker service utterly worthless, for sure nothing that a music fan would pay for making it impossible for the company to cover the demanded per user fees. AMAZON has publicly stated that their position is that a license is not required for a service such as theirs. This issue is currently being litigated by my company in EMI v MP3TUNES where we await the Judge’s ruling. With the record labels wide reaching demands it’s difficult to see how AMAZON, or any company, could arrive at a workable license for personal cloud music."
Read the full posting here.