Apple Signs Three Independent Labels For European iTMS

Apple has announced that it has signed three of the biggest independent labels in the UK for itis European iTunes Music Store. The three labels, Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group, and V2, were part of a major block of independent labels that had been holding out of iTMS participation due to a dispute with the contract Apple had asked them to sign.

Todayis announcement brings music from such groups as Basement Jaxx, The Crystal Method, Interpol, The Libertines, Morrissey, the Pixies, Prodigy, Stereophonics, Paul Weller, The White Stripes, Stereophonics, and The Datsuns, as well as some "vintage" titles from acts like Bob Marley, Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols.

In a statement from Apple, CEO Steve Jobs is quoted as saying his company "plan[s] to add many more independent labels soon."

Indie labels own some 20% of the UK music market -- the third largest music market in the world behind the US and Japan -- making them far more powerful than their US counterparts. When Apple launched the European version of the iTunes Music Store, many music consumers complained about the lack of their favorite musicians. Some went so far as to upload playlists to the iTMS intended to protest the missing labels.