Love them or hate them, it seems the world is increasingly coming to terms with the fact that Apple are taking over the universe (for one, they own The Beatles’ famous logo), and with today’s news of the launch of the popular iTunes store in another 56 countries, that fact is becoming increasingly apparent.
According to The Next Web the digital music store has been rolled out into Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia as well as the huge markets of India and Indonesia, whose absence seemed curious after the store’s launch in 12 new Asian markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan back in June.
iTunes’ entrance into the markets brings the music and entertainment store to an additional audience of over 1.4 billion people, its widest expansion to date.
According to Apple’s website a wide selection of local artists have been made available in the store including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, along with popular international artists including Taylor Swift, The Beatles, and recent iTunes additions, AC/DC.
The opening of the Russian store comes as rumours of the launch of a Moscow Apple retail store swirl, but it is the launch in India and Indonesia that presents the biggest opportunity for the growth of their music and entertainment library.Although the content comes with a price tag much like the rest of the world’s iTunes stores, tellingly, the prices in the Indian and Russian stores are lower than that of the US and Australia…
The two countries account for a huge internet market share, ranking among Facebook’s top five users worldwide, and with piracy heavily relied upon for consumers to gain access to local content, iTunes offers a viable alternative for a better entertainment and music experience – albeit a paid one.
Although the content comes with a price tag much like the rest of the world’s iTunes stores, tellingly, the prices in the Indian and Russian stores are lower than that of the US and Australia, with albums selling on average for 70 rupees or $AU 1.22, and songs selling under the standard US and Aussie $0.99 mark for the equivalent of $AU 0.70.
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Prices in the Russian store are also generally lower than Australia’s with most single tracks selling for only 15 Russian rubles or $AU 0.49.
Although Apple is wildly popular in the US and Australia, the company’s products have a relatively low market share in India and are growing in Russia which may be reason to the lowering in price.
Yet, Apple’s presence in the Asian market may also benefit other local streaming services in India including Dhigana and Saavn as well as Spuul -a similar product to Hulu, as iTunes will bring new emphasis to legal consumption of entertainment and multimedia and possibly mark a change in the way those nations find their content.
With today’s additions, iTunes is now available in 119 countries around the world, marking a noticeable increase in the availability of their music and entertainment store, and proving an undeniable giant in the ever-growing digital music market.