Nokia takes mobile music service to China

As Google makes its exit from China, Nokia sees opportunity in the world’s biggest mobile market, launching its subscription-based mobile music service in the country.

It’s a bold move from the Finnish handset vendor, given that China’s digital music market is rife with piracy (98 per cent of digital music tracks are pirated by some accounts). Perhaps more so due to the fact that Nokia’s Comes With Music is a DRM-free proposition.

Nokia has teamed up with local firm Huadong Feitian to offer unlimited music downloads for 12 months with the purchase of any one of eight devices, including the X6 32GB and 16GB, 5230, 5330, 5800w, 6700s, E52 and E72i. Local prices have not yet been confirmed but entry level devices will start at €140, excluding local taxes and subsidies. The service will be known locally as Yue Sui Xiang.

The platform will deliver a catalogue of local artists for the Chinese market and will also include catalogues from 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.

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

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