Nokia may be lagging behind in the multimedia stakes, but the company seems intent on doing something about its slipping popularity. After Motorola’s recent deal with Apple to get iTunes onto its handsets, Nokia has struck a similar deal with Loudeye.
Loudeye doesn’t actually offer a music downloads service itself, but it does help other companies to set up online music stores. While this may mean that Nokia is intent on creating its own music downloads service, the chances are that it’s an attempt to encourage network providers to develop their own stores. Which will in turn encourage the networks to buy more Nokia handsets.
Many of the networks, such as O2 and Orange, already offer a music download service and this is obviously something they see as a growth market worth pursuing. Offering music downloads to subscribers represents an appealing extra service to customers, as well as a nice little extra earner – especially if a company like Loudeye is doing all the hard work setting it up for you.
With phones already offering music storage and playback facilities, how long is it going to be before iPods and their ilk are an endangered species? While some manufacturers still firmly believe that people will still want to keep their gadgets separate, there’s strong reasons to believe that hybridised mobile handsets will be the way forward – especially if phone companies continue to pursue that market.