Nokia to launch 'free' music download service

Nokia will launch a new service next year that allows people who buy certain phones to download music for free for a year after they purchase the device.

Nokia will launch a new service next year that allows people who buy certain Nokia phones to download music for free for a year after they purchase the device.

The company has signed a worldwide deal with Universal Music to offer the service and is in talks with other major labels, said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia's president and CEO, in a speech at the Nokia World conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

The service, called Comes with Music, will allow people to download as many songs as they want during the year after they buy the phone, and then keep the music after the year is up, Kallasvuo said.

He was joined by Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music, who called the deal "a groundbreaking moment" for Universal. "There is no comparable service where music can be kept by the consumers even if their subscription lapses," he said.

The music industry has been criticized for complaining about illegal downloads while not doing enough to let people download music legally. Grainge said the deal with Nokia shows that Universal is "doing all we can to transform ourselves into a consumer-led business."

The companies would not discuss detailed financial terms of the offer. "It's called Comes with Music and I think that is fairly explanatory," Kallasvuo said. "You buy the [phone] and you have rights for one year of unlimited downloads."

Nokia spokesman Kari Tuutti said the service will be offered initially with Nokia's high-end Nseries devices, but eventually will come to a broader range of Nokia handsets. People will be able to download the music to both their phone and their PC, he said.

The cost of the service will essentially absorbed in the initial purchase price of the phone, but Nokia isn't saying yet if consumers will be charged a premium for phones that come with the service. Nokia will pay a portion of the revenue from the phones to Universal, Tuutti said.

"The music industry is making money on this and we hope to make money from this also," Kallasvuo said.

The service combines the world's biggest phone maker with the world's biggest music label. It will put Nokia more squarely into competition with Apple, which operates its iTunes service, and Microsoft, which has its Zune music player and online store.

The novel part of the Nokia service is that users can keep the songs after the one-year subscription period ends. That marks a new business model for the music industry, and goes a step further to loosening download restrictions imposed on users.

Universal's catalogue includes U2, Eminem, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, Pavarotti and The Rolling Stones, Grainge said. Nokia may sign other labels by the time the service launches, scheduled for the second half of 2008.

Currently, Kallasvuo said, most people rip CDs from their existing music collection or download them from illegal services. Consumers need new services so that "the necessity, or the lure, of stealing music will go away," he said.

Comes with Music was one of several new services described at Nokia World. The company will also offer a service that lets people access files stored on their PC from their mobile phone, or from a secure online server if the PC is turned off. To offer the service Nokia has bought a California start-up company, Avvenu, for an undisclosed sum.

It also described plans to expand its Ovi Web site and turn it into a "personal dashboard" where users can manage and share digital photos and videos with friends, and access third-party services such as the Flickr photo service.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?