More than six years after the iTunes Music Store launched in the U.S., the iTunes Store has finally opened in Mexico. Everything is DRM-free, and most songs are priced at 12 pesos (approximately 91 cents). Albums range from 90 to 170 pesos, and music videos are 24 pesos. Popular Mexican artists include Paulina Rubio, Vicente Fernández and Zoé.
“The iTunes Store in Mexico is off to a great start with music from all of the majors and hundreds of indie labels,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “And the revolutionary App Store in Mexico gets bigger and better with great new apps using amazing new features, and we can’t wait to see what developers come up with next.”
So says Apple’s (s aapl) press release, but the iTunes Store in Mexico appears to be at best a belated good start. The press release notes only “millions of songs,” instead of a catalog size. There are more than 6 million songs available worldwide in the iTunes Store. Browsing the Mexican App Store, there are a lot fewer titles, and this isn’t just an issue of language, as there are lots of apps in English available.
However, more interesting is what is not there. The four store sections are: Music, Music Videos, App Store, and Podcasts. Forget about the lack of iPod nano and classic games and audiobooks, there are no television shows to buy, and no movies to rent or buy. No doubt, video will be coming soon, but this still seems like a weak opening.
Lately, Apple has been paying a lot of attention to China. With a middle class of at least 100 million, that makes sense, but Mexico has a potentially large market as well. With a middle class of around 10 million families, Mexico has a potential customer base larger than the entire population of Canada. It seems like a little more effort might be warranted on the part of Apple in Mexico, as six years is a long time to wait for a store without video.