It seems that Apple have finally recognised that Aotearoa is a distinct market in it’s own right and opened iTunes Store for New Zealand – albeit as an adjunct of the apple.com site and offering only DRM protected tunes.
Local industry speculation was rife yesterday and it would seem that for once the rumours are borne out with the launch earlier today. This is a big deal for those who have been trying to buy their music via the Australian iTunes portal or using the Vodafone music service targetting multimedia phone users as workarounds. However, excitement should be moderated as a fair few of the major labels are not involved (yet?) though, given the strong Kiwi, Maori and Pacific Island music scene here, they’d be made to ignore the market demand for locally-grown talent such as Fat Freddy’s Drop and Bic Runga.
All this is played out amid stories of an Apple big wig flying in for a Job-style announcement and staff at Renaissance, the NZ distributors for Apple being asked to hand back their apple.co.nz email addresses.