World’s number one mobile phone maker Nokia will end bundling of free music downloads with cellphones in 27 countries, but will continue to sell phones with 12-month subscription to free music downloads in China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.
Nokia, which unveiled this service in late 2008 in Britain, has gained little footing for its new mobile services due to lack of operator support and its inability to attract many customers. However, the company will sell phones with 12-month subscription to free music downloads in China, India and Indonesia and with 6-month subscriptions in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.
Major music labels such as Vivendi’s Universal Music, EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony’s music arm signed for Nokia’s service to pose a challenge to Apple’s iTunes.
Use of older handsets that do not support the service, digital rights management (DRM) software that tied downloaded music to the device and a product offering that is difficult to understand also contributed to the insipid performance of the service.
Nokia is offering DRM-free tracks through its music store in 38 countries and that is what markets clearly want, a Nokia spokesman was quoted as saying.
DRM software limits sharing of songs between different devices.
Consumers in the countries where the sale of the free music bundle service have stopped will however continue to have access until their subscriptions run out.