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Apple signs key indies to iTunes

'Tens of thousands' of extra tracks being uploaded

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Updated Apple today confirmed that it has reached an accord with European independent record labels Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2, bringing the likes of Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, Prodigy, Stereophonics, the Datsuns, Paul Weller and The White Stripes to the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany.

Earlier this week, Apple add a host of indie tracks to ITMS, but none from the acts named above. The deal announced today will see the addition of "tens of thousands" of songs from the three labels' acts added to ITMS' catalogue.

Sanctuary, in particular, promised "immediate access to contemporary new releases from Morrissey and The Libertines, as well as vintage catalogues from classic artists, including Bob Marley, Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols".

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company plans "to add many more independent labels soon".

According to the Association of Independent Music (AIM), there is a "standard independent template contract" now available for UK and European Indies. "Several hundred labels across Europe are expected to sign the agreement in the near future, bringing many of the world's most exciting acts to the service," the organisation said.

Almost as soon as it emerged that Apple's 15 June European ITMS launch would not included tracks from key independent labels, UK music fans began to use ITMS' iMix public playlist feature to make known their disappointment at this state of affairs.

Unhappy with the terms Apple was offering - the "terms initially offered appeared to discriminate against independents", is how AIM puts it - indies refused to sign up to the service.

However, discussions between Apple and the indies have continued, and it emerged last week that the parties were close to a deal. ®

Related stories

Apple 'close' to accord with indie labels
iTunes users hijack iMixes to demand indie content
Indie labels reject iTunes
Apple iTunes Europe shifts 0.8m songs in first week
Apple opens iTunes in the UK, France and Germany
World to get iPod Mini on 24 July
Pixies top UK download chart

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