Sony strikes iTunes deal with Apple

Yomiuri Online (via Oops Music) reports Sony has reached an agreement with Apple to offer its catalog through the iTunes music service. Sony Music artists, such as Nakashima Mika, Hirai Ken — and perhaps, of more interest to me, Hajime Chitose, the brilliant green and ACO — may be available on the service by the end of 2005.

Sony and Apple have competing music services in Japan, and before iTunes launched in August 2005, Sony’s Mora grabbed a large share of the music download market in Japan. iPods, however, are extremely popular in Japan, leading some labels, including Sony and Warner Music, to stop putting protection software on its CDs. Four days after iTunes launched in Japan, the service sold 1 million songs.

Of course, none of these events really effect Japanese music fans outside of Japan — iTunes accepts only credit card numbers from their country of origin. Amazon Japan sells pre-paid cards in 2,500- and 5,000-yen amounts. But for that price, I may as well just buy a CD.