Feeds

Apple opens iTunes in the UK, France and Germany

Here at last, iPod, Mac owners

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Apple pressed the 'on' button for the UK, French and German incarnations of its iTunes Music Store today, and promised to turn the online download shop up to eleven when it opens a pan-European store and announces a series of deals with car makers later this year.

With a further 23 per cent of the world music market now added to Apple's US coverage, CEO Steve Jobs flew in to London to make the announcement. He brought with him enough songs to kick all three new stores off with 700,000 songs from all five major labels and "dozens" of indies.

Since each store has its own, local content, it's not clear whether that total represents the number of songs available in each territory or a cumulative European tally.

Either way, it's no mean figure. Nor is the pricing: £0.79 per song in the UK, which still works out more than the US price: $1.43 to $0.99, but is less than the £0.99 rival music seller Napster UK is charging. And all songs on the store are offered at that price, not just enough to make a headline. How long that will stay the case remains to be seen, but it's a good start.

French and German buyers will pay €0.99 a song and €9.99 for albums. The UK album price is an impressive £7.99. However, unlike individual songs, that price is only for "most" albums, Jobs admitted, so some will be more expensive.

The Euro prices will be maintained when Apple launches a pan-European store to cater for the continents other nations. Jobs promised it would open by "October", and will initially be offered only in English. Jobs offered no comment on the launch of Canadian or Japanese stores.

However, he did say the addition of the three new outlets will go some way to getting ITMS past the 100m download mark - to date, the tally stands at 85m, he said.

He also signalled a series of announcements with automobile makers to build connectivity between iTunes and in-car stereo systems. It's easy enough to hook up an iPod to a cassette player today, but expect better adaptor mechanisms to be announced in due course. BMW has been suggested as one of Apple's partners. Jobs didn't provide that level of detail, but it's the kind of marque we'd expect Apple to ally itself too.

Jobs also signalled his disapproval of subscription schemes, such as the one Napster's touting, though he didn't name any names. People want to own music, not rent it, he said. We suspect the truth lies somewhere between: folk want to own some, important tracks, it's true, but they'd rather have cheaper access to others. There's room for a subscription service as a way of inexpensively sampling music, though we'd question whether, say, Napster's £9.95 a month really counts as inexpensive. Whatever, it's a usage model Apple would be unwise to dismiss so readily.

Finally, don't expect to find the Beatles on ITMS, except through cover versions. Without a hint of irony, Jobs searched and found Gerry and the Pacemakers' recordings on the service, noting how they were originally manager Brian Epstein's back-up band if success proved elusive for its other Liverpool signing, the Fab Four... ®

Related stories

Apple readies European iTunes launch
OD2 unveils 1p-a-play digital music jukebox
Beatles mull online music store
Napster ups UK track count ahead of Sony, Apple launches
UK legal downloads hit half a million
Napster UK goes live
Forum approves Apple music format for DVD Audio
Apple builds wireless hi-fi bridge with pocket router
Apple launches liquid-cooled G5 Mac
Apple: no 3GHz G5 'any time soon'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.