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Nokia launches unlimited free music download service in China

Ian Grant

Hours after the House of Commons passed a law to prevent online music piracy, Nokia announced a free, DRM-free music download service in China - with the full cooperation of the music industry.

Nokia launched its Comes With Music service with catalogues from Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI Music and local independent labels. The deal also allowed Nokia to distribute Chinese music globally.

It is the first free, legal music download service for mobile devices and PCs in the world's biggest mobile market, Nokia said.

It added all files were free of digital rights management technology, meaning they can be copied and shared freely.

Nokia has already launched the service in the world's fastest growing mobile markets, including Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, and will launch next in India.

Working with local partner Huadong Feitian, Nokia will offer the service on eight devices: the Nokia X6 16GB and 32GB, the Nokia 5230, Nokia 5330, Nokia 5800w, Nokia 6700s, Nokia E52 and Nokia E72i. Entry level prices start from €140, excluding local taxes and subsidies.

Nokia's global head of music Liz Schimel said Comes with Music was "the perfect legal download recipe for the world's biggest market for mobile phones".

She said Nokia offered the music service to 30 markets after just 18 months. "We are excited to see consumers building collections of the music they love through our service, and we are firmly on the path to delivering legal digital music to all parts of the world," she said.

Sony Music head of digital business Thomas Hesse said the tie-up with Nokia held "great potential to convert China's massive audience of music fans into consumers of legitimate digital music".

Gartner analyst Mike McGuire said establishing legitimate online music services in emerging markets was imperative for the music industry's ongoing effort to remake itself.

"By getting the Comes with Music service up and running in China, and with India coming on shortly, Nokia is taking important steps to expand its Comes With Music ecosystem. It is also playing an important role in developing compelling alternatives for both artists and labels, and consumers," he said.


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