Apple extends iTunes empire

After much antipodean anticipation, Apple has finally unveiled the iTunes Music Store Australia. Tracks will be available for download for Aus$1.69 –

After much antipodean anticipation, Apple has finally unveiled the iTunes Music Store Australia. Tracks will be available for download for Aus$1.69 – that’s about 72p a tune in the Queen’s money, which means the UK store remains the most expensive in the world by a factor of 10%. Us Brits love to pay through the nose for music, we do.

However, the new Australian store has some notable absentees, as the newly merged Sony BMG label is not represented. Which means Aussies won’t be able to get their hands on music from Maroon 5, Destiny’s Child or Ricky Martin. Poor dears.

However, this problem may be resolved soon, according to Australian news site TheAge, who quote Sony BMG bigwig Emmanuel Candi as saying "There's a couple of points left to finalise, the negotiations are going really well and we hope that they will be all settled soon and we'll be on track too."

Even without Sony BMG, the iTunes Music Store Australia still has in excess of one million tracks, according to Apple, as well as more than 1000 music videos for download at a cost of Aus$3.39 (that’s about £1.50 to the UK store’s ludicrous £1.89 – Americans pay £1.15).

Apple’s iTunes Music Store is responsible for over 80% of legal music downloads in the US, and figures in Europe are believed to be similar. The arrival of the Australian store means the iTMS drive for global domination has now extended to 21 countries – but Jobs’ Reich doesn’t yet reach over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.

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