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iTunes Japan shifts 1m songs in four days

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Apple Japan has sold more than one million songs to Japanese consumers since it opened its own iTunes Music Store last Thursday, the company said today.

"iTunes has sold twice as many songs in just four days as all the other online music services in Japan sell in one month," CEO Steve Jobs was pleased to report.

"iTunes has become Japan's number one online music store in just four days," he added.

This despite the lack of Sony Music Entertainment (SME) artists in ITMS Japan's catalogue. The two companies have yet to reach an agreement on licensing terms. Presumably Apple Japan decided launching the service would strengthen its bargaining position, and the success the store has achieved so far will undoubtedly make it harder for Sony to force concessions from Apple.

The Mac maker has already conceded differential pricing to other labels. While Apple today re-iterated that over 90 per cent of the store's songs cost ¥150 ($1.34), it neglected to mention that the rest cost ¥200 ($1.79).

SME remains separate from Sony-BMG. The Japanese label was the only part of Sony Music not to be included in the two major labels' 2004 merger.

Apple noted that Japanese artists have been behind both the top-selling single and the number one album on ITMS Japan.

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