[Update] Apple Cloud Music Service Set to Launch Ahead of Google

Update 1: According to ATD, Apple has already signed deals with two of the major record labels (unlike Amazon):

And sources tell me that Apple has already procured deals from at least two of the big four labels (Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony and EMI) within the last two months. One source tells me Apple content boss Eddy Cue will be in New York tomorrow to try to finalize remaining deals.

“They’ve been very aggressive and thoughtful about it,” says an industry executive. “It feels like they want to go pretty soon.”

Reuters is reporting that sources have told them Apple’s cloud music service is ready to launch, and will do so ahead of Google’s attempt to do the same. Rumours of Apple’s $1 billion dollar North Carolina data centre have long been reported, and with WWDC upcoming we very well could see an announcement from Apple.

Apple’s plans will allow iTunes customers to store their songs on a remote server, and then access them from wherever they have an Internet connection, said two of these people who asked not to be named as the talks are still confidential.

The maker of the wildly popular iPhone and iPod, Apple has yet to sign any new licenses for the service and major music labels are hoping to secure deals before the service is launched, three of the sources said. Apple has not told its music partners of when it intends to introduce its music locker, they said

Sources also point out that Google has been undecided in what it wants, leading to a delay in launching a music service for Android OS handsets. What would this new music service be called? iTunes Cloud?