Apple has announced that the iTunes music store in Japan has already sold one million songs, while the online service has only been operational for four days. Before Apple set foot in the land of the rising sun, the online music trade there was in the hands of Sony’s Mora, Yahoo, Excite and Oricon. Together they provided four to five hundred thousand downloads per month, the majority of which came from Mora. iTunes has therefore achieved twice as many downloads in four days than the other music services together normally sell in a month.
The Japanese iTunes sells songs from fifteen domestic and several foreign record companies. However, Japan’s largest record companies, Sony Music Entertainment, Victor Entertainment and Warner Music Japan, have not yet signed an agreement with the music service. Sony is now negotiating with Apple and Victor says he is thinking about this. Warner was unavailable for comment.
Last Thursday, Apple opened the Japanese iTunes. With a catalog of one million songs and prices that are lower than those of the direct competition, Apple achieved success. Japan is the twentieth country to add the company to the music service. Since the online service launched in the United States two years ago, the company has sold more than 500 million songs over the Internet.