Apple, publishers reportedly close to completing cloud music deal

Apple's music streaming service is inching closer to launch according to industry sources. Earlier rumors suggest Apple already inked licensing agreements with three of the four major record labels, including EMI Music, Warner Music and Sony Music. The one remaining holdout is Universal Music, which is still working with the Cupertino company.

Besides the record labels, Apple also needs to obtain publishing rights from the individual music publishers. Insiders claim only a small amount of cash is keeping Apple from inking these final agreements, but these negotiations can be long and messy.

There is supposedly some tension between the music publishers and the record labels that has to be ironed out before Apple can launch its online streaming service. The record labels are not happy that publishers are getting the bulk of the cash Apple has put on the table for its cloud service. Wisely, the Cupertino company is reportedly playing the two music entities against each other and letting them duke it out. Apple hopes this money problem can be resolved and negotiations will wrap up in time for a WWDC announcement.