The Latest: SoundCloud’s Millions, Google Music, Verizon+iPhone, RealNetworks, Best Buy, Gadget Growth

*SoundCloud has just landed a $10 million round from Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures.

*Merlin is definitely chatting with Google Music over licensing specifics, according to a member letter recently leaked.  As usual, major label preference remains a major concern.

*Verizon is expected to announce an iPhone tie-up on Tuesday, and select invitations have already been mailed for a New York announcement.

*RealNetworks recently used CES to splash Unifi, a multimedia and music-focused storage cloud.

*Best Buy suffered same-store declines of nearly 5 percent in December, though music was only one trouble-spot.

*Just how much will the consumer electronics industry make in 2011?  As a parting shot at CES, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) called for US year-over-year growth of 3.5 percent to $186 billion.