Amazon Still Looking For Cloud Music Licences Claims WSJ While Mspot Reacts With Expanded Free Storage Limit

Amazon’s launch this week of its Cloud Drive and Cloud Player has ruffled rightsholder feathers, but according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is “aggressively courting” the major labels to get licensing deals, with the aim of “minimising bad blood” over this week’s launch.

The WSJ also suggests that what Amazon is hoping to do is get licences that will allow it to scan and match users’ music collections, giving them access to songs that they own without having to actually upload them. The article also suggests that the service’s ability to let up to five people to listen to a song at the same time is drawing rightsholder scrutiny, while also pinpointing publisher anger at the launch. “This is just another land grab,” says Sony/ATV Music Publishing chairman Martin Bandier. “I can’t make it any plainer than that. It’s really disrespectful, and of course we are considering all of our options.”

Meanwhile, mSpot has provided a quick response by changing its own service to match Amazon’s offering. mSpot now gives users 5GB of storage for free, up from its previous 2GB. But CEO Daren Tsui thinks the battle will be fought on other features. “We think we have a better service than storage lockers with a simple “player” UI – and in order to remove any trial barriers we’re going to offer 5 GB free storage,” he says in a statement. “Going forward, we expect that the market for storage will be very commoditized and price-driven; but unique music services like mSpot will appeal more to music listeners looking for a complete experience – especially on the mobile. The music locker is only one component of mSpot Music – which is actually a complete cloud music service that will soon include a unique music discovery offering that builds on everything we’ve learned from our customers over the last year.”

March 31, 2011