iTunes Coming to Japan in August, Report Says

Appleis iTunes Music Store (iTMS) is coming to Japan in August, a published report in Japan said Tuesday.

The daily newspaper Nihon Keizai reported Apple Computer is planning on launching its iTMS online store in two months and will charge 150 yen (US$1.40) per song for access to between 500,000 and 1 million songs.

Labels that have signed on for the service include Columbia Music, Avex Group Holdings, , and Toshiba-EMI.

According to the report, Sony Music Entertainment has yet to agree to offer its music library on the service, which could put a large dent in the available music for the Japanese market.

One possible problem: Japanese music buyers primarily listen and download music from their mobile phones. That ability will not be available for the forseeable future via the iTMS.

Motoharu Sone, an analyst from UFJ Tsubasa Securities, told the newspaper that "in Japan, there has been virtually no market for music downloading via PCs, while mobile phone users spend an estimated $190 million a year to download music via the Internet to their phones."

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