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iCloud to cost $25 per year

Will be free initially, though

Apple will initially offer its forthcoming iCloud service for free, though plans to eventually charge around $25 (about £15) per year for it, according to reports.

The LA Times claims that Apple has sewn up contracts with the four major music labels with a view to launching its cloud-based music service, citing sources familiar with the negotiations.

It is expected that iCloud will initally be offered for free to anyone buying music from Apple's iTunes Store, letting them upload their music to Apple's data centres. They will then be able to stream this music to internet-connected devices such as Macs, iPhones and iPods.

As well as a subscription service, Apple would sell advertising around iCloud, according to the report. Apple will share 70 percent of revenue from iCloud with record labels, as well as 12 percent with the copyright owners. The remaining 18 percent will be Apple's, according to the LA Times.

The report also claims that though it will initially focus on music, eventually iCloud will let customers upload movies and other digital content.

iCloud is expected to be more than a music-streaming service, though, replacing many of the functions of MobileMe. It may be limited to Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 users, it is believed.

Apple iCloud: Five burning questions

iCloud will be announced on Monday at the WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.


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