Nokia launches DRM-free music service in China; India to follow

MUMBAI: Nokia has launched its 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. 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,” said Nokia global head of music Liz Schimel.

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,” added Universal Music Group International senior vice president, digital Rob Wells.

“Establishing legitimate online music services in emerging markets is imperative for the music industry’s ongoing effort to remake itself. 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,” said Gartner research vice president, media IAS team Mike McGuire.