Apple on Tuesday announced a major expansion of its iTunes Store, almost doubling the number of countries where the popular music platform is available.
The expansion covers 56 countries, including Russia, India, South Africa, and Turkey. The iTunes Store is now accessible in 119 countries.
Apple said the iTunes Store will feature local artists including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, in addition to international artists like The Beatles and Coldplay and classical musicians such as Lang Lang and Yo Yo Ma. The iTunes Store is home to more than 20 million songs, as well as a large selection of films available for rent or purchase.
Users in these countries will also have access to the company's App Store, which is home to more than 70,000 apps. The App Store is now available in 155 countries.
The expansion comes just days after Apple released the latest version of its music software, iTunes 11 following a brief delay. The new version gets rid of the old left-hand bar; playlists and radio now appear in that top menu. Other options, including movies, TV shows, podcasts, and access to devices and shared libraries, are accessible via a drop-down menu underneath the "Music" icon.
The updated iOS iTunes Store includes Facebook integration and the ability to preview songs while browsing. There's also a completely redesigned interface, as well as improved performance and search results. On the desktop side, the new iTunes includes an edge-to-edge design.