If you were to believe the hype, China is a hotbed of counterfeit software and fake products, and now Nokia are throwing Comes With Music into the mixture. The Finns have announced that their Comes With Music service is launching - as Yue Sui Xiang - in China, with no DRM on downloaded tracks; subscriptions range from twelve months to two years, and once that period is up you can keep any songs you've downloaded from them. Of course, thanks to the absence of DRM this time around, you're also free to load up the tracks on other media playing devices.
Seven handsets will be on offer initially - the Nokia X6 (in 32GB and 16GB form), Nokia 5230, Nokia 5330, Nokia 5800w, Nokia 6700s, Nokia E52 and Nokia E72i - with prices expected to kick off at the equivalent of €140 ($187) not including local taxes, subsidies and subscriptions. Content from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music is promised, together with various local independent labels that Nokia have done deals with.
It's not the first time we've seen Nokia purposefully loosen their grip on a feature to try to leverage their brand; the company made Ovi Maps Navigation free earlier in the year, and has been rolling the software out to new handsets ever since. Whether the DRM-free Comes With Music ever arrives in sharing-obsessed Europe and North America remains to be seen.
UNLIMITED MUSIC DOWNLOAD SERVICE REDEFINES CHINA’S MOBILE DIGITAL MUSIC LANDSCAPE
NOKIA’S GLOBAL MOBILE MUSIC LEADERSHIP UNDERLINED WITH LAUNCH OF DRM-FREE COMES WITH MUSIC SERVICE FOR MILLIONS OF CONSUMERS IN CHINA
Beijing, China & Espoo, Finland, April 8, 2010: Nokia today further increases its global footprint in the mobile music space with the launch of its ground breaking service, ‘Comes With Music’, in China. This announcement sees China’s number one mobile brand drive further innovation in the music space by introducing the first device and PC-based free, legal, DRM-free music download service in the world’s biggest mobile market.
The launch of Nokia’s unlimited music download offering in China adds further momentum to Nokia’s leadership in the world’s highest growth markets including Brazil, Russia and Indonesia. The forthcoming launch of the service in India will add significant scale and differentiation in another critical market.
In a local partnership with Huadong Feitian, the China launch further showcases Nokia’s expertise in delivering music services, tailored to local consumer needs. The service delivers a rich catalogue of local artists, unique features developed for the Chinese market, and a seamless, high quality music download experience.
Comes With Music will be available to consumers across China via a broad range of devices and through an extensive nationwide retail network. At launch, consumers can get unlimited music downloads with the purchase of any one of eight devices, to include the Nokia X6 32GB and Nokia X6 16GB, Nokia 5230, Nokia 5330, Nokia 5800w, Nokia 6700s, Nokia E52 and Nokia E72i. Entry level prices will start from EUR 140, excluding local taxes and subsidies.
“This launch delivers a truly mass market music offering from China’s most loved mobile brand. Our broad range of Comes With Music enabled devices and the high quality, DRM-free catalogue form the perfect legal download recipe for the world’s biggest market for mobile phones,” says Liz Schimel, Global Head of Music, Nokia. “Globally, we have expanded the reach of our music service to 30 markets in just 18 months. We are excited to see consumers building collections of the music they love through our service, and we are firmly on the path to delivering legal digital music to all parts of the world. It’s fantastic to have so many local and global labels partner with us to deliver this service in China. The industry came together to support us in innovating the mobile music business model in this unique market.”
The service will include catalogues from the major global labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Music, and a host of local independent labels, including Huayi Brothers Media Group and Taihe Rye.
“China is a massive opportunity and a challenging market to address. Nokia is the undisputed dominant mobile player within China – there is no better partner with whom to develop the market in new, imaginative ways and make the most of its potential,” says Rob Wells, Senior Vice President, Digital, Universal Music Group International.
“We are delighted to be expanding our partnership with Nokia to bring Comes With Music to the Chinese market,” says Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business, U.S. Sales and Corporate Strategy, Sony Music Entertainment. “We think there is great potential to convert China’s massive audience of music fans into consumers of legitimate digital music with compelling services that are easy-to-use and broadly available across a wide array of mobile devices."
Song Ke, CEO, Taihe Rye, says; “We are very excited by the opportunity to have our music catalogue not only available in China, but to the rest of the world. Lovers of Chinese music can now download content from Comes With Music, broadening the market for our artists globally.”
“Establishing legitimate online music services in emerging markets is imperative for the music industry’s ongoing effort to remake itself,” says Mike McGuire, Research Vice President, Media IAS Team, Gartner. “By getting the Comes with Music service up and running in China, and with India coming on shortly, Nokia is taking important steps in continuing to expand its Comes With Music ecosystem. It’s also playing an important role in developing compelling alternatives for both artists and labels, and consumers.”
The Comes With Music service will be known locally within China as Yue Sui Xiang.
At Nokia, we are committed to connecting people. We combine advanced technology with personalized services that enable people to stay close to what matters to them. Every day, more than 1.2 billion people connect to one another with a Nokia device – from mobile phones to advanced smartphones and high-performance mobile computers. Today, Nokia is integrating its devices with innovative services through Ovi (www.ovi.com), including music, maps, apps, email and more. Nokia's NAVTEQ is a leader in comprehensive digital mapping and navigation services, while Nokia Siemens Networks provides equipment, services and solutions for communications networks globally.