Apple has launched its online iTunes Store in South Africa. This will allow customers in South Africa to have access to 20-million songs by international and local artists, at a cost of roughly R6.99 to R8.99 a song.
For local musicians, the launch will provide them with another platform to sell their music at a time when physical CD sales are declining globally. The iTunes Store features local artists alongside international artists and classical musicians.
Arthur Goldstuck, MD of technology research provider World Wide Worx, said for many experienced South African iTunes users the launch may seem too little, too late, as they had already found numerous workarounds to overcome Apple’s geographic restrictions.
“However, for the mainstream user, it is a real breakthrough because it means the entire world of recorded music becomes available in digital format,” he said.
The launch also comes three months after Simfy Africa introduced its unlimited music download service in South Africa. Mr Goldstuck said Simfy may have been the catalyst for iTunes finally opening up to South Africa, because of the massive catalogue it made available and the low cost of the service.
“However, it still requires you to use the Simfy software to continue taking advantage of the music you downloaded or to continue streaming the music. Once you’ve bought music on the iTunes Store, you own it, and that is really what the average music buyer wants,” he said.