Launching In The Cloud This Summer?

MG Siegler
Wednesday, January 20, 2010; 6:05 PM

Buried all the way at the bottom of the Wall Street Journal's latest piece about the Apple Tablet is a very interesting nugget of information. Apple is apparently gearing up to launch a cloud-based iTunes replacement called as soon as this summer, WSJ states citing sources familiar with the matter.

Yesterday, we ran a guest post by Michael Robertson, the former CEO of, who laid out Apple's cloud-based media strategy going forward. An iTunes-in-the-cloud offering is the central part of this, and could happen "almost over night," as Robertson laid out. And late last year we wrote about how a move to the cloud was inevitable for iTunes. The planets seem to be aligning for this to happen sooner rather than later. Apple's recent purchase of the music startup Lala has potentially made this possible, because of that team's talent, if nothing else. But there's more.

Apparently, part of Apple's strategy in moving iTunes online would be to make it so that third-party sites could easily implement one-click purchases of iTunes content, presumably through some iTunes APIs. That could have huge business potential for iTunes which has traditionally been just a small source of income for the company (aside from the newer App Store element) and more a way to move iPods and their higher margins. This could potentially turn services like Pandora into mini-iTunes stores.

[photo: flickr/vsz]

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