For PC, Mac, and iOS users in the US and Canada, iTunes 10.3 beta has now rolled out and is now ready for users to download. This will allow users to download newly downloaded music from iTunes across other owned iOS devices at no extra cost. This is all good if you live in the US and Canada. Sadly, the service will not be available in the UK until 2012.
This news came from the Performing Right Society. Their spokesperson said that iTunes in the iCloud will not be arriving to the UK until Q1 of 2012. According to The Telegraph, Apple is just beginning to negotiate a deal in the UK, which is geared to ensure label and artist’s rights. However, these negotiations are only in their infancy. A UK record label also told The Telegraph, “no one expects to see the cloud music service live on this side of the pond until 2012.”
This is normal, since there is tons of money involved. Take iTunes as an example when it was launched back in 2003. Its global release took eight months. It looks like this will be the same case with iTunes in the iCloud, which is why it will only reach the UK in 2012. In other countries, it may take much longer.
There are, however, rumors that suggest another reason for the delay. Forrester Research said, “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.”
Despite these rumors, there’s one thing that we can’t put a ginger on. Couldn’t have Apple gone through negotiations with UK record labels at the same time it was pushing deals with US record labels? It could have saved them a lot of time, and the UK would have gotten their hands on iTunes in the iCloud a little bit sooner.