iTunes Music Store Coming Soon to 10 New European Union Countries? [Updated]

itunes icon eu flagPolish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reports [Google translation] that Apple is set to launch the iTunes Music Store in ten new European Union (EU) countries. While the exact timing of the launch is unknown, sources have indicated that Apple could launch the services "at any time", possibly as soon as next month.

The report names Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic as countries set to receive new iTunes Music Stores, but the additional seven countries are not specified. Of the 27 European Union member states, twelve currently do not offer iTunes Music Store services: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Speculation suggests that Cyprus and Malta could be the two EU countries left out of the launch, due in part to geographic isolation and their status as the two countries having the smallest populations among those currently without music stores.

The iTunes Music Store is currently available in nearly two dozen countries, making an increase of ten countries a substantial addition to Apple's offerings, although only Poland (38 million) and Romania (22 million) out of the candidate countries have populations substantially above 10 million. Apple's App Store is active in many dozens of countries around the world, including all 27 member states of the EU, but access to the music portion of the iTunes Store is considerably more limited at the present time due to the difficulties of licensing content in each market.

Update: Reports are now coming from at least the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, and Slovenia indicating that iTunes Store users in those countries are being presented with updated Terms and Conditions documents that refer to music, music video, movie, and TV show content.

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Top Rated Comments

Slovak Avatar
167 months ago
Speculation suggests that Cyprus and Malta could be the two EU countries left out of the launch, due in part to geographic isolation

How would the "geographic isolation" be relevant for an online store?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hobo.hopkins Avatar
167 months ago
I don't care cause I have had the music store in the US for years.
Nice of you to care enough to login and post though.

This can only be good for Apple and those in these countries.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kolax Avatar
167 months ago
Still can't believe there's so many countries without an iTunes Music Store, especially bigger European countries like Poland.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
billnye97 Avatar
167 months ago
I don't care cause I have had the music store in the US for years.

Yeah, I wonder why the rest of the world hates us. It's because of morons like you that have the me only view of the world.

On topic, the more countries that the iTunes store becomes available in the better.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
marcelvelky Avatar
167 months ago
!

i use the itunes music store a lot and like it very much, but one thing annoys me very much. The media moguls still enforce a limited choice of music in every country. Try for instance the album "famous blue raincoat" from jennifer warnes. An old album and you can get it in every cd store throughout the eu. Except in the itunes store. Here it's limited to just a few eu countries. Wtf??? Why???! And this goes for many other albums and tracks. A copyright thing? Come on, if the physical cd is in the stores worldwide, the digital download should be available too, worldwide. Period.

:mad:

good point !
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sandstorm Avatar
167 months ago
God I hope it's true!

I still don’t understand why there isn’t a unified EU music/movie/tvshow market. I know local licensing issues and music cartels lobbying against it, but this could be one great political achievement from the EU for the benefit of all the citizens - a new unified licensing system, universal and mandatory content availability across all member states (if you sell online to one EU country, it has to be available in any other). I remember reading somewhere a couple of years ago, that Apple was actually advocating something like this in the EU.



Wouldn’t it be great to have a single EU wide store with dynamic filters, for example, if you want to see top downloads in your region, country, any neighbouring country or EU as a whole? It essentially should be one store with single pricing scheme in euros, with the optionally visible converted price in the currency of your choosing (for the countries not within the euro zone)?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)