NOKIA'S MUCH TRUMPETED 'Comes With Music' service is struggling to make an impact on worldwide sales despite a massive marketing push and a spend that's widely thought to be in the millions of dollars.
Figures published by Music Ally suggest that a paltry 107,000 users have signed up for the service worldwide, with by far the biggest uptake for the free music service being in the UK.
The partnership between the Finnish mobile giant and Universal, Sony, BMG, EMI as well as truckloads of local independent labels was launched in December 2007.
The service, which allows subscribers to legally download more than six million tracks and keep them forever, has failed to capture the imagination of users despite the rapid rise of digital delivery.
Comes With Music seems to be doing marginally better in emerging markets but the figures, which were reportedly sent to record labels and distributors, will have Nokia rethinking the whole idea sooner rather than later.
Confusion over DRM and whether downloaded tracks can be converted to other formats or played on other systems have contributed to the dreadful sales figures, but Nokia is blaming the failure on poor marketing and support. Free services like Spotify have also made fixed term contracts tied to airtime deals seem less attractive.
Add that to some very unhealthy Q3 numbers in the company's latest financials and it would seem that not all is well in Finland.
Nokia insists that the scheme has only been running for a year and that things will get better. We reckon Sky Music and a relaunched Napster can only make things worse. µ
CWM figures since launch:
UK – 32,728
Singapore – 19,318
Australia – 23,003
Brazil – 10,809
Sweden – 1,101
Italy – 691
Mexico – 16,344
Germany – 2,673
Switzerland – 560
Total – 107,227