Apple iTunes launches to most of Europe apart from Ireland

iTunes has finally opened its store to the rest of Europe excluding Ireland, Sweden and Denmark bringing its service to music customers within 70% of the global music market.  Its expansion now opens its online store to Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Like Germany and France, the pricing in these new countries remains at a fixed price of 99 cent (Euro currency) per song.  The same goes with its service (including the US & UK) allowing purchased music to be played on up to 5 computers, playlists be written up to 7 times to CD and unlimited transfer to iPods. 

The European version of iTunes offers a catalogue of 700,000 tunes covering 4 major record labels along with over 100 independent labels.  Apple also expects to launch its iTunes Music store in Canada from November, although it is not clear what pricing the tracks will be in Canada or what size of music Catalogue will be offered to Canada.

Apple today launched a European version of its iTunes Music Store, extending the reach of its service to Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

The offering retains the same features and per-song price of 99 euro cents, established in June for customers in the UK, Germany and France.

Song Use

It allows users to play songs on up to five PCs, burn a single song onto CDs an unlimited number of times, burn the same playlist up to seven times and listen to music on an unlimited number of iPods.

“We’re excited to bring the iTunes Music Store to even more music fans across Europe, and with this expansion we now reach customers in almost 70 percent of the global music market,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of applications.

It is not clear why Apple decided against launching its service within Ireland as well as Sweden and Denmark.  Then again, broadband coverage is quite poor here in Ireland.  While the most common broadband package (Eircom home broadband) here has a quite a nasty quota limitation of 4GB/month, it would still be more than adequate for iTunes.  The only music download service here is the Eircom Music Club (OD2 based) with most tracks priced at €1.39 a tune and some I seen charged at €1.89 a tune!  Some competition from iTunes may fix this.

With Apple clearly leading the market when it comes to online music download stores, it looks like Microsoft’s music service has quite a lot of catching up to do despite claiming its Windows Media technology to be part of every living room.  So far, they have tried their usual tactics by copying the iTunes interface and claiming that the majority of iPod users got their player to carry stolen music.

Feel free to discuss and find out more about iTunes and other online music stores on our Music Downloads, P2P & Legal Issues Forum.

Source: MacNewsWorld