russian apple iTunes opens in 55 countries including Russia

Apple's latest expansion by enabling 56 more countries with access to iTunes will nearly double the number of countries that Apple offers access to their popular on-line media store.

iTunes has nearly doubled its presence worldwide now and have taken a big offensive move against any future rivalry.  This latest announcement came just a few days after the new layout for iTunes 11 was unveiled.  The makeover simplified iTunes, making it more visually appealing and more iCloud integration for added functionalities.

Russia will be a very big market for Apple, and expansion into growing markets like India, South Africa and Turkey will increase the range of iTunes' digital distribution services to a total of 119 countries.

Apple also announced that they will be catering to the local tastes in music  by featuring more local artists for each particular regions. 

In a December 4, 2012 press release, Apple stated, “The iTunes Store features local artists including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, international artists including The Beatles, Taylor Swift and Coldplay, and world-renowned classical musicians including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store.”

Russia recently enacted a law where the government could censor or block any material that is deemed offensive.  So this latest move by Apple into that region may prove to be a bit of a struggle.  And if you are following news out of Russia, you may recall the arrest of the Russian band, “Pussy Riot” over their offensive language, and 2 of the members in the band were sent to prison for insulting the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.  It will be interesting to see how well Apple does in this department and what they'll be offering to the Russian audience.