Apple's online iTunes store will soon be open to Israelis. Apple has been negotiating over the past few months with the owners of Israel's large digital rights catalogs in advance of offering iTunes to Israeli customers. Apple has not yet reached agreements with all the big Israeli record labels but still wants to include local music in its offerings.
Israeli record executives confirmed that the talks were taking place.
iTunes is more than music; it includes movies, television shows, games, books and podcasts. The store was launched in 2003 and has registered sales of $20 billion all over the world.
Israelis cannot download any iTunes content, even though there are plenty of Hebrew songs and movies, because of a lack of intellectual property agreements.
Apple's App Store for smartphone applications is open to Israelis, and apps can even be priced in shekels.
The opening of iTunes locally could force major changes in the Israeli music industry. iTunes would start here with music before adding television shows and other content. The prices have also not been agreed to. iTunes is available in more than 60 countries and is responsible for 29% of all music sold around the world. iTunes sells two out of every three songs sold online, and has quarterly revenues of $1.5 billion.
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