Nokia, the world's largest cell phone manufacturer, announced it is discontinuing its Ovi Music Unlimited service in several countries.
For all but six out of 27 countries, the Finnish company has ceased the service, which combined free music downloads from a subscription plan with any Nokia phone. The company will still offer services for a 12-month subscription plans in China, India and Indonesia and 6-month plans in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa. Existing customers will not see a disruption in service.
This is part of preparations to deliver new, innovative music experiences as part of Ovi during 2011. This comes in response to customer feedback and promises to deliver better, more locally relevant experiences. However, the new deals and other arrangements necessary for this to happen meant that old ones needed to be ended. We'll release more details on these new services as they are announced, wrote Ian Delaney, the managing editor of the Nokia Conversations blog.
Nokia says it is only shutting down the service temporarily until it can come up with a new strategy. Music will play a part, we just got to figure out how market by market, country by country, Adam Mirabella, Nokia's Ovi Music executive, said in a video on the blog.
The service was launched in 2008 in the U.K. and was called, Comes With Music. It was seen as a possible rival to Apple's iTunes. However, digital rights management software dragged the service down as it didn't allow songs to be played on more than one device.
The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service, a spokesperson said to Reuters.
Nokia did not respond to an inquiry for further comment.