iTunes floods U.S. border into Latin America

Image: Apple.

Spreading its own particular brand of fruity love, gadget titan Apple Inc. has this week revealed it is to open dedicated iTunes Store outlets across 16 regions south of the U.S. border.

Specifically, Cupertino-based Apple is bringing it hugely popular online multimedia temple to expectant consumers in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Argentina.

It is hoped that, by offering up iTunes access to some 20 million competitively priced songs, Latin American consumers will gravitate towards an attractive legal alternative to the piracy channels rife throughout the region.

“For 15 years there have been immeasurable losses to pirated CDs, and for 10 years to piracy carried out on the Internet,” commented Paulo Rosa, president of the Brazilian Association of Record Producers, regarding the arrival of iTunes.

“The more legal alternatives there are for the consumer, the better it is for the market,” he added in an AP article. “Unquestionably, this will help music sales at the expense of piracy.”

However, it remains to be seen if that confidence bears out, not least because those looking to acquire free or cheap pirated media in Brazil and other Latin American countries can do so easily either for free online or from cheap street traders.

Further to that, a 2011 report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry revealed that 45 percent of online users in Brazil download illegal media every month.

Other Latin American countries gaining the appeal of iTunes include Chile, Columbia and Venezuela—the latter of which recently ranked last on a list of 129 nations that commonly commit media piracy and violate intellectual property.

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