Now customers in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain have their own EU iTunes with the same features and price of €0.99 per song. A better deal than their UK neighbours who pay £0.79 (€1.16) per track since iTunes opened its store there in June. This 17% extra loading prompted the Consumer’s Association to ask the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the pricing difference, claiming it is a potential breach of the competition law.
With the launch of EU iTunes Apple now reaches customers in almost 70 percent of the global music market, and it also announced that it will launch the iTunes Music Store in Canada this November.
The EU iTunes Music Store features over 700,000 songs from all four major music companies and more than 100 independent record labels. It also features exclusive tracks from leading worldwide artists, including Anastacia, Marc Anthony, Andrea Bocelli, Black Eyed Peas, Destiny’s Child, Bob Marley, George Michael, The Prodigy, Gwen Stefani, Travis and Zucchero.
EU iTunes has the same personal use rights as in the US, UK, France and Germany. Users are allowed to play songs on up to five personal computers, burn a single song onto CDs an unlimited number of times, burn the same playlist up to seven times and listen to their music on an unlimited number of iPods.
The EU iTunes Music Store offers PC and Mac users the same features. iMix playlist sharing, the dynamic ‘Party Shuffle’ playlist, over 8,000 audiobooks, which can be listened to on any PC, Mac or iPod, and ‘Artist Alert’ email service. And last but not least, automatic WMA to AAC conversion, enabling Windows users to automatically create iTunes versions of songs encoded in unprotected WMA.
iTunes for Mac and Windows includes the EU iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately from their Website. The EU iTunes Music Store works, of course, with the Euro, and purchase and download of songs requires a valid credit card – that is until Apple finds a company like PayPal to partner up with, as Naptser did this week.