Sony BMG Music Entertainment today (Jan. 18) became the final major record company to license its repertoire to Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store in Australia. An initial 100,000 tracks made availab
Sony BMG Music Entertainment today (Jan. 18) became the final major record company to license its repertoire to Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store in Australia.
An initial 100,000 tracks made available to consumers today include tracks by Foo Fighters, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and local chart-makers Rogue Traders, Shannon Noll and Anthony Callea. Other Australian acts to be added in the coming months include John Farnham, Pete Murray, Alex Lloyd and Delta Goodrem.
The major's involvement boosts the music store's catalog to one million titles, Apple says.
Music videos from Anastacia, John Mayer and Alicia Keys are also among those added to iTunes' offering.
"We're delighted to join the iTunes Music Store in Australia," comments Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony BMG Australia and New Zealand in a statement. "There is a great opportunity for digital music to explode in 2006 and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with iTunes."
Sony BMG has been aggressive in its digital policy, with Handlin telling Billboard.biz last year that he expected downloads to account for 12% of the Australian company's revenue by 2008.
Protracted negotiations with local offices of Sony BMG and Warner Music delayed iTunes launch here, which was first expected on October 2004, and then April 28 of the following year. The service eventually went live in Australia on Oct. 25, 2005, with individual downloads priced at A$1.69 ($1.30) and most albums valued at A$16.99 ($12.75).
Insiders say that Sony BMG's holdout stemed from concerns over pricing and a lack of compatibility with Sony Corp.'s own players.
A manager of a Sony BMG-signed act, who requested anonymity, confirmed, "A number of us (artist managers) did express to (Sony BMG) that we were eager to be selling on iTunes."
Apple has not yet released sales figures for its service Down Under. A label source said, "They're very healthy, and Sony BMG would be glad to be up there."
To date, iTunes has sold more than 850 million songs worldwide, comments Eddy Cue, Apple's VP of iTunes.