Apple close to deal with Sony for ‘online music download service for Japanese iPod users’

“Sony said on Monday it was in talks with Apple Computer about a possible launch of an online music download service for Japanese users of Apple’s hot-selling iPod digital music player… Now the two companies could set aside their rivalries to allow iPod users in Japan to access Sony’s roster of Japanese artists,” Agence France-Presse reports.

“‘We are negotiating with Apple over the download business and hope to expand our customer base to iPod users,’ said Yasuhi Ide, a spokesperson for Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. Last month Apple started its online music service in Japan, the world’s second-biggest music market after the United States, to offer one million songs to iPod users… It made an impressive start, hitting one million downloads within just four days, the fastest pace in the 20 countries where Apple’s online music service is available… With over 21 million users worldwide, the iPod is far more popular in Japan than Sony’s Walkman,” Agence France-Presse reports.

Full article here.
This could mean nothing more than that the addition of Sony to Apple’s iTunes Music Store Japan is coming soon.

Related articles:
Bad news for Sony: millions worldwide choosing Apple iPods – August 22, 2005
Sony to combat music market ‘maestro’ Apple Computer with ‘Walkman Beans’ – August 18, 2005
Musicians stage mutiny against Sony, defiantly offer music via Apple’s iTunes Music Store – August 10, 2005
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store sells one million songs in first four days – August 07, 2005
Apple’s iTunes Music Store offers Japan’s largest library; Napster plans April 2006 launch in Japan – August 04, 2005
Apple’s Japan iTunes Music Store debut more bad news for Sony – August 04, 2005
Apple launches iTunes Music Store in Japan – August 03, 2005
Sony grabs Japan flash-based music player lead from Apple ahead of Japanese iTunes Music Store – July 14, 2005


  1. This is a war with Microsoft against Sony and Apple.


    PlayStation and Xbox.
    Ipod/Quicktime versus Windows Media Player.

    both Apple and Sony support the new same DVD format.

    If Apple licensed OSX to Sony, comes up with a good Office replacement, Sony no longer needs Microsoft for its PC business.

    Apple working with Sony and Sony obviously putting out a gold leaf to Apple, there is good faith between both companies to undermine Microsoft. If the playstation can run OSX, then Apple need not deliver a set top machine and concetrate on what it is doing now.

    There is too much stuff between these two companies that is similiar. I see a possible merger in the works. Sony making this kind of concessions is working against its current tide. Something else bigger is at play and the lines are quite clear.

    They are both arming forces to dethrown Microsoft.

  2. Put enough pressure on coal, and it becomes a diamond. Bravo to the Japanese iPod owners who showed Sony that they were not going to be able to stop the juggernaut that is the iTMS.

    But as Crouching Tiger pointed out, perhaps Apple had to give a little bit, too, to make this deal go down…

    Hey, maybe the AUS iTMS will open as a result of this turn of events as well!!

  3. Apple recently hired some of Sony’s engineers… could this be part of an “intellectual merger” between Apple and Sony? Sort of a collaboration and alignment against a common foe (Microsoft).

    After all, as some say, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

  4. The Apple and Sony vs. MS angle is interesting … hope there is something to that. With respect to ITMS Japan, I think Sony tried to play hard ball and it backfired (ie. artists defecting, ticked off customers).

  5. “‘We are negotiating with Apple over the download business and hope to expand our customer base to iPod users,’ said Yasuhi Ide, a spokesperson for Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

    Apparently, someone at Sony, who is a little higher up the food chain than Andrew Lack (chief executive of Sony BMG) has been talking to Apple reps. Sony must feel that it’s better to work with Apple than to ‘cut their nose off to spite their face’.

    We’ll all see how it turns out.

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