Although Apple is yet to make an official statement, many sources believe the European version of their iTunes music store will launch in the middle of June. Although Euro iTunes is expected to be more expensive than its American cousin, the price difference is not expected to be as dramatic as the one demonstrated between US and UK Napster.
Sony has just completed deals with European independent labels, adding another 75,000 tracks to its catalogue. The Connect store uses Sony’s SonicStage software to protect the ATRAC-encoded tracks, and does not serve MP3s. On future developments, Sony US lead Howard Stringer hinted that Connect might feature video content too – which, considering Sony’s huge range of capable hardware, is probably a very smart idea.
We’re grateful to Napster UK for getting back to us on our query regarding the remarkable disparity in pricing between its US, CA and UK stores. The reason? Greedy labels. Adam Howorth, Communications director at Napter UK told us: “it’s simply down to the higher wholesale price we get from the record companies in the UK. If they would reduce their prices, so would we.”