Apple inching closer to its cloud music service?

Nothing has been formally announced yet, but if online reports are to believed (and they’re coming from reputable outlets) Apple has most of its ducks in a row for its long-awaited cloud music service. Apple_cloud

Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group and EMI Group have all reportedly gotten onboard with the Cupertino tech giant, though it’s still not certain if the agreements are in principle or if they’ve been signed. The status of a deal with Universal Music Group is unclear.

The partnership with at least three of the four major music labels gives Apple an advantage over Google and Amazon in the growing fight for cloud-based music services. Both of those companies have found themselves spending time trying to retroactively soothe the giants instead of locking in customers before Apple joins the fray.

Amazon, for example, went on a peace keeping mission almost immediately after unveiling Cloud Drive, meeting with executives to discuss deal terms.

While neither Amazon nor Google is a company to be taken lightly, Apple automatically has an advantage in the music space. The company has over 200 million credit cards on file and users have downloaded over 10 billion songs since the launch of iTunes.

By creating a “jukebox in the sky” with cloud technology, the company could easily transfer previous purchases to its data center, letting users access their entire catalog on a variety of devices – without having to worry about uploading them (as users must do with Google and Amazon’s service) and without having to manually add them to multiple devices as they do today.

Apple may be late to this fight, but it was late to the portable music hardware market as well – and that doesn’t seem to have been too impactful on the company.