No wonder Steve Jobs is smiling. He just struck a deal with the record labels to finally monetize pirated music — a move that “resets the whole music industry,” according to one music-tech CEO.
The new scan-and-match feature in iTunes — called iTunes Match — will put a copy of most songs in users’ libraries in the cloud, where they will be available for streaming to any device for $25 a year. It doesn’t matter where those songs came from — whether they were purchased on iTunes, ripped from a CD or downloaded from a file-sharing network.
“This puts together a model that allows people to make money off of pirated music,” Jeff Price, founder and CEO of independent music distributor TuneCoretold Mashable. The service will likely be launched on Monday — and from then on, most of the music in user’s iTunes libraries will be synced automatically with the 18 million tracks Apple has on file.