Apple Seeking to Expand User Access to Paid Digital Content

Apple is supposedly engaged in closed-door talks with four major record labels as the Cupertino, California-based tech giant seeks to give iOS device users expanded access to their digital music across all of their iOS devices.

According to Bloomberg News, progress is being made and a new agreement between Apple and its largest digital music providers could be cemented by summer.

Multiple sources familiar with the ongoing negotiations reveal that Apple is working with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group to expand their current licensing agreement. As a result, iTunes consumers and iOS device users would be given more control and flexibility in accessing their paid-for digital music libraries.

Apple, which first began selling tracks through iTunes in 2003, became the top U.S. music retailer in 2008, surpassing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) ITunes accounted for 69 percent of all digital downloads in the U.S. as of September, according to research firm NPD Group Inc.

While few specifics of the ongoing talks are known, it also appears that a forthcoming deal could provide for “permanent backup of music purchases” should the original files somehow become deleted or otherwise damaged and rendered unusable.