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Japanese labels skeptical of iTunes

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Sep 2004 9:21

Japanese labels skeptical of iTunes Apple are planning to open a Japanese version of its iTunes Music Store, but are struggling to find the support they need from Japanese record labels. The labels claim that Apple's FairPlay is "inadequate" and are refusing to license their songs to the service. They also fear that the price of a song may seriously affect their CD sales. Existing Japanese digital music services charge from 200 ($1.83) a song, which is considerably higher than $0.99 (108) in the U.S.
Current Japanese digital music services also don't support CD burning. Apple insists that consumers should be able to burn CDs from the digital music files that they download. Apple supports CD burning on the US, UK, German and French iTunes stores. However, the prices remain the biggest problem with labels demanding prices do not go below 200 ($1.83) a song. "If we go lower than [200], CD sales will suffer," a major record label official has commented. He also admitted that the industry needs a price that will compete with low-cost CD rental companies.

Yoshiaki Sakito, Apple Japan's marketing chief, told the Asahi Shimbun the clout of iPod will be sufficient to bring such waverers into line also stating, "The record companies won't be able to swim against the tide forever".

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