updated 03:05 pm EDT, Thu October 6, 2005
Japanese artists, iTunes
Apple is continuing to struggle with iTunes licensing terms with the music labels in Japan, forcing artists to go direct to make their songs available via iTunes. Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), BMG Japan, Warner Music Japan, and Victor Entertainment still haven't reached an agreement with iTunes Japan to offer their tracks to the masses, leaving artists frustrated and leading them to . One industry insider noted that "as much as industry people tried to convince the press and the public that iTunes would fail in Japan or take years to get anywhere, the reality is that iTunes is doing very well, and artists and their fans want their material available on iTunes," according to a report from The Daily Yomiuri [updated].
Singer-songwriter Motoharu Sano is frustrated that his back catalog is not available to iTunes users, because it is signed with Sony. Sano, like several others, has signed a direct deal with iTunes Japan to offer up his music, according to the report.
Singer-songwriter Kazufumi Miyazawa has recorded a new version of his international hit, "Shima Uta", and is distributing it via iTunes Japan as well. Tokyo-based label, publishing and management company Bad News has made its 150 songs available on iTunes Japan, and acknowledged that "it's a bit late." Pop-rock band the Ulfuls, currently signed to Toshiba-EMI, recently released an album entitled "iTunes Originals", made up of previously released songs, live tracks and new versions of old songs.