INDIE AND iTUNES REACH AGREEMENT

Three large labels sign up, meaning your iPod won’t be without White Stripes and The Libertines for long…

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APPLE have signed a licensing agreement with three large independent music labels in Europe – opening the way for artists including White Stripes and Prodigy to be sold on iTUNES.

Apple has signed licensing agreements with three of the largest European independent music labels - Beggars Group, Sanctuary Records Group and V2.

As a result the company say they’ll be able to add tens of thousands of additional independent tracks from leading artists to the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany.

Bands likely to be included on the service include Basement Jaxx, Morrissey, Pixies, White Stripes and Morrissey.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "We're thrilled to add three of Europe's largest indie labels to our iTunes Music Store in the UK, France and Germany. We welcome Beggars, Sanctuary and V2 to the iTunes family, and plan to add many more independent labels soon."

Martin Mills, chairman of Beggars Group, added: "Apple has revolutionised the music industry, and iTunes and iPod are changing the listening habits of music fans at an incredible pace. In the US, some of our key individual tracks are selling in quantities that have been inconceivable for years. We're delighted that we and other independent music labels are now joining iTunes in Europe."

When iTunes launched its European store earlier this year many of the independent labels refused to licence their songs, claiming they weren’t being treated fairly compared to the major labels.

Joe Cokell, CEO of Sanctuary Records Group, said: "We see this as an opportunity to bring our extensive repertoire to a  very active community of music fans. With this agreement, iTunes users will have immediate access to contemporary new releases from Libertines and [a][/a] as well as vintage catalogues from classic artists, including Bob Marley, Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols."

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