Here in the United States, the legal music download market is saturated with the likes of the iTunes Music Store, the various WMA-pushers, and numerous small, specialty stores. In other countries, however, the legal download market is wide open and ready to be taken advantage of. According to an article from the New York Times (as reprinted by the San Mateo County Times), Europe will be the next hard-fought market for digital music downloads. The European market as of yet lacks the iTMS which has proven to be such a powerhouse in the US market, but other distributors are stepping in to fill the void. From the New York Times:
Still, the online music industry is hungry for the European market, according to many executives at an international music conference that started here on Saturday, and it is preparing to take on the established European leader, On Demand Distribution, a company co-founded by the musician Peter Gabriel that is known as OD2 and powers most existing music services in Europe.
No one involved doubts that the European appetite exists. Last week, the Coca-Cola Co. began an Internet-based music downloading service in Britain that attracted 10,000 downloads in its first 24 hours.
Executives at Apple and Napster said over the weekend that they would love to help Coke do that, but they are still held back by arranging downloading rights across Europe.
Eddy Cue, Apple vice president for applications and Internet services, said that the company still planned to offer its iTunes Music Store in Europe some time this year, but he declined to give a specific date.
"Different prices in different countries, different release dates, there are obstacles we are still sorting through," Cue said. "Theyire not insurmountable."
You can read the full New York Times article via the San Mateo County Timesi Web site.