Apple's plans to open an iTunes Music Store in Australia have met a temporary glitch.
The Courier Mail is reporting that sources have revealed that Apple was to launch an Australian version of iTunes Music Store last Thursday, but a major record company refused to sign an agreement.
According to the source, Apple had to cancel advertisements and the launch may be held back by days or possibly weeks.
Some Australian's managed to get into the Australian iTunes Music Store last week, some even buying music. They reported that tracks cost $1.69 each (about 69p – in the UK a track costs 79p) and album costs varied from $11.35 (£4.66) to $16.99 (£7).
Music industry analyst Phil Tripp told The Courier Mail: "Apple was right to delay the launch of iTunes if a major record company had not signed on, as consumers would be frustrated if the store had holes in its music catalogue".
"Apple needs to have all the record companies on board – the majors and the independents – and one of the key problems that has to be resolved is making sure everybody is participating at the same time," he added.
Destra - Australia's current largest supplier of online music via MP3.com.au - is not concerned about the immanent launch of iTunes Music Store there. Destra founder and chief executive Domenic Carosa told Australia's The Age :"The arrival will bring to a head the online dilemma of the music business."
He expects that Apple will expand the online music market in Australia: "Driving public awareness of the coming changes in the way music will be bought and sold, and bring huge changes to both the music and video industries".
He concedes that in Australia Apple may scoop the "lion's share" on account of the popularity of the iPod, but he expects to benefit from increased awareness of downloadable music. "Others will also get fatter because the overall market will grow," he said.
He intends to make sure that customers realise they can play music from MP3.com/au on their iPods. "We put a little notice about iPod compatibility on our site and sales went up 300 per cent."
Destra plans to set up kiosks, connected via the internet to mp3.com.au, so that customers can buy tracks and burn compilations on the spot.
Carosa doesn't think that online music will replace bricks and mortar stores, however. He told The Age: "Australians like shopping. Coles Online did not affect supermarkets and I don't expect music stores to be replaced, but business models will have to change. What Borders have done for the book business someone will do for music."