/// Apple Just Added 56 Countries’ Worth of New iTunes Customers
Apple expanded its iTunes Store Tuesday, launching it in India, Russia and 54 other countries (full list below). The move nearly doubles the iTunes Store’s international footprint, raising the number of markets it serves to 119. And while the service’s offerings will initially be limited to music only in many of those countries — only Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia will support movie and video purchases — it’s a dramatic extension of Apple’s reach as a distributor of digital media. The addition of India and Russia alone increases the company’s addressable market by 105 million Internet users. Apple has 435 million iTunes accounts with associated credit card numbers; how many more will it have this time next year after today’s expansion? So this is a significant move for Apple. Not only will it boost revenues for the iTunes Store business, which generated total net sales of $7.5 billion during the company’s most recent fiscal year, it also brings important new content elements to the developing Apple ecosystems in those markets. The addition of music, movie and video purchases increases the value proposition of Apple’s hardware. Remember, when it first debuted, the iTunes Store wasn’t intended to generate profits so much as it was meant to sell hardware. And that’s still one of its more important functions today. Enabling content purchases in these countries gives Apple one more hook with which to pull consumers into its ecosystem and keep them there. The expansion of the iTunes Store follows the debut last week of iTunes 11 , a complete overhaul of the media software.
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Apple Just Added 56 Countries’ Worth of New iTunes Customers
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