Apple has launched four new iTunes Music Stores in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, but not Australia.

The company says the stores "feature songs from all four major music companies and over 1,000 independent record labels". The features of the service remain identical to the existing stores.

iTunes is now available in geographic regions equalling 70 per cent of the global music market with stores in 19 countries and more than 400 million songs purchased and downloaded worldwide.

The launch of an Australian store is thought to have been delayed while Apple completes negotiations with record labels there.

Half a billion songs a year

"The iTunes Music Store has revolutionised the way we discover and enjoy music, and is now selling more than half a billion songs per year," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of applications.

Swiss music fans benefit from a special promotion from Apple in association with UBS. Apple and UBS together are offering every Swiss citizen a free song on the iTunes Music Store. This is part of a country-wide "UBS Generation" and "UBS Campus" promotion. UBS is offering song cards for music downloads in all of its branches, which can be used instead of a credit card to buy songs from iTunes.

Music video downloads

Apple has also introduced a brand new feature for music buyers: downloadable music videos to play on a Mac or PC. Such videos are available initially on purchase of albums or tracks from the Dave Matthews Band, Gorillaz, Morcheeba and The Shins.

Users rights through this service remain defined as being able to play songs on up to five personal computers, burn songs to CDs an "unlimited number of times". Users can also burn a playlist up to seven times and listen to their music on an unlimited number of iPods.