FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia will stop offering its free music downloads in the UK and most of the rest of the planet.
After tanking in the music market and pointing the finger at digital restrictions management (DRM), Nokia made the decision to stop bundling free music downloads. The company launched the free music service in 2008 in 27 countries around the world, but is rocking no more.
However, the service will still be available in some countries on a 12-month or 6-month subscription. If you are based in China, India or Indonesia you can get free tunes on a year contract. If you are in Brazil, Turkey or South Africa you can have the service on a six-month contract. But if you are Blighty bound you'll get now't, even though Britain was seen as one of Nokia's test markets for the service.
Nokia has spent the last two years trying to turn itself in to a software company rather than a hardware company. At Mobile World Congress 2010, The INQUIRER reported that Nokia didn't make any big hardware announcements. Instead it banged the drum on its software expansion with its Comes With Music service extended to 27 markets. It also extended its related pay by the tune Ovi Music to 33 markets and was DRM free.
Despite getting Vivendi's Universal Music, EMI, Warner Music Group, and even Sony to sign on the dotted line for its service, it bombed and never became an Itunes killer.
Nokia blamed a combination of old mobiles being used to launch the service and DRM.
"The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service," said a Nokia spokesman. He also added that DRM-free tunes are still downloadable through its digital music store in 38 countries.
If Nokia is pushing to become a software company, this news doesn't bode well. Samsung and Sony Ericsson both waved not so tearful goodbyes to Nokia's Symbian phone operating system last year. Sony is moving its smartphones to Android and Samsung is sticking with its own Bada OS along with Android. µ
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