DigiRama says no NZ competition from iTunes any time soon

Online music store hopes Kiwi music fans will follow the links from Windows Media Player

The managing director of New Zealand's leading online music download site, DigiRama, says there will be room in the market even after Apple launches its iTunes store in this country.

However Shaun Davis says his understanding is that iTunes New Zealand will not launch at the same time as the Australian iTunes store, which has been widely expected to launch this month.

"My information is that it won't launch here any time soon," Davis says.

Davis is confident that DigiRama's offering, which offers files in the Windows Media Player format rather than the AAC format used by Apple, will still find a place in the market.

"There are plenty of devices that support Windows Media Player, like Nokia's new phones and the new Xbox, so it goes well beyond the personal music player market," he says.

A link to DigiRama is embedded in the newly released Windows Media Player 10 and while some users have mistaken it for spyware of some kind, Davis says that's simply because New Zealanders aren't yet used to online music stores.

"In Australia they have three or four different stores and in the US there are ten or more. It's just that we're not used to it here yet."

DigiRama currently has almost 70,000 songs listed on its site, but David says the company is about to sign a deal with a third major label to boost that number to around 270,000.

Meanwhile, Apple has released the latest version of its iTunes software which will allow users to manage and play back video footage as well, sparking intense interest in the idea of Apple becoming a vendor of video clips — or even movies — as well as music.

Late last month actor Russell Crowe told Australian radio that he fully expected the Australian iTunes store to launch later that week. However, although Apple this week launched its store in four European markets, it hasn't yet unveiled an Australian store.

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