If you read my Digital Music Trends post yesterday, you’ll know about Total Music, an idea cooked up by major label Universal Music Group that involved mobile handset manufacturers and MP3 player makers paying a monthly subscription to the labels, to give their users free, unlimited music downloads.
Well, Nokia’s gone and done it. At least, I think they have. The service is called Nokia Comes With Music (stifle those sniggers, please), but it’s being launched in partnership with UMG, and it’s a subscription service where you buy the “product”, and then for a year you have unlimited downloads, which are yours to keep even when the subscription lapses.
It wasn’t made clear how exactly this works, but if it’s Total Music under a different name, then you’ll buy a Nokia phone, and then Nokia will pay UMG the monthly subscription on your behalf, ensuring you get free music all year.
UMG’s Lucian Grainge got onstage to talk up the Comes With Music venture. “There is no comparable service where music can be kept by the consumers even if their subscription lapses. It proves that Universal Music is not only a creative business, but we are doing everything possible to transfer ourselves into a consumer-led business, and a service-led business as well.”
Nokia’s Anssi Vanjoki says that Nokia is “holding productive talks with other labels”, by which he presumably meant the other major labels, although also indies. Comes With Music certainly sounds intriguing, although we’ll need more details on exactly how the business model works, and how much it costs (if anything) for us punters.
Will we have to buy a SIM-free (and thus expensive) Nokia Nseries phone to get it? And what does it mean for Nokia’s Music Store, which is also targeted at these handsets? It’s all a bit confusing at the moment, but more details should be forthcoming soon.
For the latest posts from the show, check our Nokia World 2007 category