It's Official: iTunes Launches In Latin America
It's Official: iTunes Launches In Latin America

After much expectation, Apple launched its iTunes store in Brazil and 15 other Latin American Countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

The iTunes launch, widely expected, had nevertheless been kept carefully under wraps until today, when the company unveiled its new properties.

iTunes Preparing For Broad Latin American Launch

The iTunes Brazil store alone has an offering of over 20 million songs, and its homepage put heavy emphasis on local artists like Roberto Carlos and Marisa Monte.

Most songs are priced at 99 cents and most albums at $9.99. iTunes Store purchases require a valid credit card with a billing address in country.

iTunes opened shop in Mexico in 2009 and its presence has marked a turn-around for the online digital market in that country.

There, prior to the advent of iTunes, the online music market was virtually non-existent even though there were online music stores. But in 2010 there were nearly 13 million tracks sold online, according to Mexico's association of record producers (Amprofon)--a 116.3% increase over 2009-with most of those numbers coming from iTunes. For the first six months of 2011, digital sales-propelled in large part by the iTunes store-grew by 7.7% in the first semester of 2011, according to Amprofon, compared to 2010--even as physical sales went down 11%.