While the iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match features unveiled at WWDC this week have since been the center of attention for user in the U.S., users across the pond in the U.K. are still wondering when these features may be available to them. According to record label executives and music analysts, us Brits won’t get our hands on them until at least 2012.
A spokesman for the Performing Right Society, a U.K.-based organisation which ensures composers, songwriters and music publishers are paid for their work, told The Telegraph that negotiations with Apple regarding music services in the U.K. has started, but were still at a “very early stage.”
The licensing team at the PRS have started talks with Apple, but are a long way off from any deals being signed…It is very much the early stages of the negotiations and is similar to the launch of iTunes – which began in the US and took a while to roll out to other countries.
A music executive at one major label, who was unnamed, said:
Tentative talks have begun between the major labels and Apple in the UK. However, all talks are at the really early stages and no one expects to see the cloud music service live on this side of the pond until 2012.
While it’s great to hear negotiations are already underway to bring iTunes cloud services to the U.K., could they have been started earlier? British labels may not be as keen to sign up to the service as those in the U.S.: Mike Mulligan, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, said that the U.K. arms of all the major labels will want to see how successful these services are in the U.S. first:
Apple’s cloud music service will not launch in the UK until at least quarter one of 2012. These types of negotiations take a long time… For one thing the UK arms of all the major record labels are biding their time and waiting to see how the service affects download sales in the US before they sign up to anything.
While it may seem like a painful wait for those outside the U.S., this isn’t the first we’ve had to sit patiently while iTunes services have rolled out internationally. When the iTunes Music Store first launched in the U.S. in October 2003, it took 8 months for the service to appear in France, Germany and the U.K., with the rest of Europe joining a further 4 months later.