TOKYO, Japan - A Sony Corp. subsidiary on Wednesday started offering songs by some Japanese artists to rival Apple Inc.'s iTunes online music store in a move seen by some as an apparent shift in its software marketing policy.
Sony Music Entertainment Inc., which competes with Apple in the portable music player market, has withheld Japanese offerings from the service so far even though it has been providing songs by its Western artists since February.
Commenting on the addition, a Sony Music representative said it took time for the parties to work out contract terms. But an industry official said, "Sony may have changed its strategy to secure profits after seeing its earnings tumble."
The Japanese music now available on the iTunes store include songs by the popular pop group Ikimonogakari, Kana Nishino and Yutaka Ozaki, with more to be added later. Prices are typically set at 250 yen (about $3) per song and 2,000 yen for an album.
Sony said Nov. 1 it posted 40.1 billion yen in group net loss in the April to September period, blaming faltering sales of TVs and digital cameras.