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Apple iTunes debuts in India

Priyanka Joshi/New Delhi 04 Dec 12 | 01:12 PM

Apple has announced the launch of the iTunes Store in India, Russia, Turkey, South Africa and 52 additional countries. Apple device owners will have access to legal music and video content on the digital store. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store, claims an official release.

Apple has priced songs at about Rs 12 with latest Bollywood albums, like Dabangg 2, being offered at Rs 96. Apple’s iTunes also allows to rent and download movies. A high definition version of movie like Ek Tha Tiger is available for purchase for Rs 490 and standard version for Rs 290. Users also get the option to rent the title for Rs 120 (HD version) or for Rs 80 (SD version).

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According to a FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2012, the Indian music industry achieved a 19% year-on-year decline in sales of physical music which was compensated by a significant jump of 24% year-on-year in digital music consumed last year.

Apple’s entry could also accelerate rivals like Microsoft to launch their music services in country. Microsoft currently offers 30 million tracks worldwide and is expected to introduce a slew of features in 2013, including more social integration, scan-and-match functionality, and a cloud-based locker.

For now, Apple iTunes will compete against Nokia Music Store that promises over 4.5 million songs to its users and Flipkart’s digital music store, Flyte. Nokia claims that its music store has recorded up to a million downloads per day and has become a preferred platform for many local artists. For instance, Priyanka Chopra's debut single, In My City, was launched exclusively on the Nokia Music Store.

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