iTunes Match Launches In Germany, Reaches Agreement With GEMA
iTunes Match Launches In Germany, Reaches Agreement With GEMA

BERLIN - iTunes Match was launched in Germany last week after the German collectiion society GEMA approved an agreement in Munich. The will service costs €24.99 (about $32.50) per year in Germany and is limited to 25,000 tracks.

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A statement released by GEMA read as follows: "A temporary one-year contract with GEMA made this agreement [with Apple iTunes] possible. It was reached in the early hours of Thursday morning. [Fees for] iTunes Match are to be collected in the first 12 months and the terms of the contract adjusted if necessary at the end of this period. Under the terms of the agreement, copyright holders are to receive a certain flat-rate portion of sales per user."

GEMA declined to mention exact figures.

This agreement has nothing to do with last week's deal with BITKOM, a GEMA spokesman told Billboard. "The BITKOM agreement only licenses the conventional use of music by iTunes. The matching service is viewed separately." Further details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

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If music tracks are deleted on a computer, they will still available via iCloud for repeated downloading in 256-Kbps quality. It is also possible to access the cloud-based music library and download individual tracks or entire albums via iPhones, iPads, iPod touch and Apple TVs.

In other digital news, following the lead of Germany's Simfy streaming service, Deezer entered the German last week to compete with rivals Napster, Juke and, most recently, Rara.com. But according to GEMA sources, "Spotify will not be launching in Germany until 2012."

French company Deezer has 13 million tracks online and is seeking to woo customers with a flat-rate. There will be two subscription versions: a non-mobile one, which will cost about 5 euros (about $6.50) and a premium version for 10 euros ($13).

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