Apple will launch its popular iTunes online music service in Japan in August, undercutting
existing players by charging about 150 yen ($1.40) per song.
Major Japanese record companies, including Columbia Music Entertainment Inc. , Avex Group
Holdings Inc. and Toshiba-EMI Ltd., have agreed to provide songs for the service.
But Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. has yet to agree on contract terms
with Apple, it said.
Apple's entry into Japan's download market has long been rumored. The Japanese Nihon
Keizai reported late last year that Apple would launch its "iTunes Music Store" in Japan
by the end of March 2005.
Apple will charge between 100 and 200 yen per song on its Japan service, compared with 210
yen on Sony's Mora online download service, which currently offers the country's largest
digital library of 200,000 songs, the Nihon Keizai said.
The newspaper said Apple would also have a bigger library, offering a choice of 500,000 to
1 million songs.
The iTunes online service, paired with Apple's popular iPod portable music player,
commands the field for legal digital song downloads.
Apple has sold more than 400 million songs in 19 countries since the launch of iTunes in
the United States two years ago.