It was just over a week ago that Apple introduced its
iTunes Music Store
to consumers in the UK, Germany and France. On Wednesday, Apple announced that during its first full week of operation, the iTunes Music Store sold 800,000 songs to users in those countries. More than 450,000 songs were sold in the UK alone.
The online commercial music download service launched with more than 700,000 songs from commercial artists represented by the five major music labels and dozens of independent labels; individual tracks cost €0.99 or £0.79. The iTunes Music Store in the UK, Germany and France features the same capabilities and Digital Rights Management (DRM) as its US counterpart — buyers can play their music on up to five computers, can burn playlists on up to seven CDs, burn individual songs an unlimited number of times, and transfer songs they buy to an unlimited number of iPods.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that iTunes’ sales figures place it as the top online music store in Europe. “In the UK alone, iTunes sold more than 450,000 songs in the last week — 16 times as many as OD2, its closest competitor,” said Jobs.
On Tuesday, Loudeye Corp. announced
plans to acquire
On Demand Distribution Ltd., or OD2, in a deal worth US$38.2 million, creating what’s been described as the world’s largest business-to-business digital media company. The combined organization will provide “white label” digital music content to other organizations looking to create their own music services. OD2 already provides music to MSN, MTV and The Coca-Cola Co.
In April, OD2 announced that it had sold 1 million tracks total for the first quarter of 2004.
Introducing the service to attendees of a special event in London last week, Jobs said that Apple will launch a European Union version of the iTunes Music Store this October.
Update 6/23/04 10:40AM: Information added about OD2 and Loudeye Corp.
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