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Apple officially opens iTunes Music Store in 56 countries

Apple's Indian website promotes the new iTunes Music Store. | Source: Apple

Apple on Tuesday announced it has opened the digital doors to its iTunes Store in 56 countries, including Russia, India and Indonesia, taking the total number of markets in which the service is offered up to 119.

The near doubling of iTunes Store coverage comes hours after reports trickled in claiming that iTunes was being activated in Russia, Turkey and South Africa, with users in those countries able to purchase music and videos from Apple's online store. Apple sent out invitations on Monday saying the iTunes team would be "holding a musical evening" in Moscow on Tuesday.

While all of the 56 newly added countries will be getting access to the iTunes Music Store, only Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia will support movie and video purchases. Apple said the service will be made "available in select additional countries," but didn't offer a specific rollout timeline.

As reported by AppleInsider on Monday, the iTunes Store will not only feature music from top U.S. acts, but will also offer tracks from local artists.

From Apple's announcement:

The iTunes Store features local artists including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, international artists including The Beatles, Taylor Swift and Coldplay, and world-renowned classical musicians including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store.

The huge rollout is evidence of Apple's continued work to expand the reach of world's largest music store by striking deals with regional music publishers and extend current licenses overseas.