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Apple Euro iTunes stores sell 50m songs year one

Far behind US sales, though

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Apple's European iTunes Music Stores have together sold more than 50m songs in their first 12 months in business, the company said today.

Originally launched in the UK, Germany and France, on 15 June 2004, ITMS has since opened branches in most other European states, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

However, the US remains Apple's biggest market by a long chalk. When ITMS opened in the UK, Germany and France in June 2004, Apple had sold fewer than 100m songs. Earlier this month, it said it had sold more than 430m tracks to date, across the world. So while the whole of Europe has contributed 50m to the 330m songs sold since June 2004, US buyers have purchased 280m - almost six times as many songs.

Even allowing for ITMS Canada's contribution - the store opened last December - and the period while Apple was operating on only three European countries, US buyers are still by far the most eager ITMS customers.

The European stores also lag in terms of content. While the US store has more than 1.5m songs on offer, the Euro stores have catalogues of around 1m tracks. ®

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