Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Kiwis finally get a bite at Apple's iTunes

New Zealand has finally come in from the dark, and been added to Apple's global iTunes music empire. (However, the standard domain wasn't operational today, with the NZ site accessible only via

iTunes NZ offers over 2 million songs for download, at $1.79 each. That's around 25% more expensive than in the USA, where songs retail on iTunes for just 99c each (~$1.23 NZ). Meanwhile, most albums here are priced at $17.99, music videos at $3.59, and games for $7.99 each. A large range of podcasts are also on offer.

Apple's unique relationship in New Zealand - previously only operating through third party distributor Renaissance Corporation - was perhaps one of the reasons why kiwis were so far down their priority list... left in the dark when Apple launched in Australia last year).

Apple USA have owned the domain name since mid-2005, but its believed that negotiations with local record companies took longer than expected.

The Apple iTunes Music Store will finally allow kiwis to easily buy digital music for their ipods, and lessen their temptation for illegal music downloading. The current largest digital music stores here - Digirama and CokeTunes - only offer songs in the WMA format, which can't be directly transferred to an iPod.

Renaissance will continue be the distribution manager for Apple products in New Zealand. However, Apple will now operate its own Online Store, giving it the ability to sell product directly. New Zealand will also become part of Apple's "worldwide pricing model", which should mean lower prices for consumers here.

* NZ Herald: iTunes finally available in New Zealand
* STUFF: Apple launches iTunes in NZ

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