Nokia brings music download service to China, without DRM

The phone manufacturer isn't saying if other, existing countries will drop copy protection

Nokia has launched a version of its Comes With Music download service without digital rights management (DRM) for the Chinese market, the phone manufacturer said on Thursday.

Nokia's Comes With Music includes a year of access to music with the price of the phone. Currently, the service is available in about 30 countries, but in those countries the music, unlike in China, is copy-protected. Nokia isn't commenting on whether that will change in the future, according to a spokesman.

However, more DRM-free launches could follow in such countries as India, which, like China, has a high level of piracy that would make this offer palatable for the record companies, according to a research note from CCS Insight.

Nokia is planning to launch Comes With Music in India, but isn't commenting on whether it will include DRM, the spokesman said.

Chinese consumers will be able to get music with the Nokia X6 32GB and X6 16GB, 5230, 5330, 5800w, 6700s, E52 and E72i. The prices of the phones will start at €140 (US$185), excluding local taxes and any possible subsidies.

Also, Nokia isn't adding a premium to the price of the phones, according to CCS Insight, which it usually does. To make this strategy work Nokia will need revenue from other sources, such as advertising or simply selling more phones, the researcher said.

Comes With Music in China will include content from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Music and a number of local independent labels, including Huayi Brothers Media Group and Taihe Rye, according to Nokia.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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