There is finally a sense of momentum in Europeís online music market. It seems that there is a new story or announcement at every corner: EMIís digital download catalogue is slowly working itís way into the market through an assortment of distribution and retail partners, Ministry of Sound have revamped their subscription services and Apple are talking about bringing its iTunes Music Store into Europe. Whether all the majors will grant European licenses to Apple is another matter, but it would be a welcome addition to a European market that is almost threatening to flourish.
Unfortunately, even with all of these new initiatives and more in place, Europeís digital music market is not about to take off as the illegal sector has had so much time to develop a market leading grip on the online audience. But all of these initiatives are the essential foundations for fighting online piracy. Legal and technology orientated solutions will play an important role in restricting illegal file sharing activity, but compelling legitimate alternatives will do something much more important: they will make it an irrelevance.