Google was set to offer the four major record labels a whopping $100 million up front to allow it to license music from them on its much anticipated new cloud based music streaming and storage service. However, talks got bogged down and eventually stalled over “the music industry’s concern that search results in Google and YouTube often point to pirated music.”

As such, without the record companies wanting to play ball, Google Music Beta was launched without licenses, meaning that the first 20,000 stored songs are free to store, but as a result users have to upload all their music to the cloud-based locker (a lengthy and at times frustrating process) for listening across all devices.

This is a far more complicated and bulkier offering than if Google had been able to obtain licenses to use the major label’s music. Indeed, Warner Music Group had proposed that Google charge users $30 per year to use the service. However, rumours suggest that although Amazon’s music service was released to much fanfare earlier this year, Apple is set to take its usual place as a game changer, with reports suggesting that it has signed a licensing deal with three of the four major labels.

Armed with licenses, Apple’s service will merely scan a user’s iTunes library and upload the songs once identified, removing the need to upload any material.