The world's biggest music store got bigger Wednesday when Apple's iTunes Store launched in a dozen countries in Southeast Asia.
The 12 markets to get iTunes are Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Consumers in all 12 markets will be able to purchase music - over 20 million songs from local and international artists - as well as rent or purchase movies. As in other markets, Apple will also make iCloud service available to these consumers at no extra cost.
These are not major markets, although when combined their size is as substantive as a handful of the larger European markets. The trade value of Thailand's recorded music revenue in 2011 was $68.6 million, according to the IFPI, putting it roughly between the revenue of Finland and New Zealand. Taiwan's total revenue last year was $64.5 million and its digital revenue was just $11.7. Singapore's 5.1 million inhabitants produced $20.4 million of trade value.
Although the iTunes Store has been available in the U.S. for over nine years, the iTunes Store has just recently expanded to some of the world's larger recorded music markets. Brazil, the world's eighth-biggest music market, got the iTunes Store last December. In January of this year, Apple expanded the store into 19 new markets in South America and Europe including the Netherlands, Argentina and Colombia. iTunes Store reached Mexico, the world's 15th biggest market, in 2009.