Nokia is to launch its Comes With Music service in China, without Windows DRM, for the first time.
The service bundles a year’s worth of unlimited downloads with selected handsets, and the account can continue when a new CwM phone is purchased.
The DRM was used to tie to the music to one desktop and one phone at a time, but this is no longer considered a deal-breaker by the labels or Nokia. Sign-up was always more of a nuisance than DRM anyway.
It means one Nokia handset could potentially provide an extended Chinese household with ‘free’ music for a year to use on their iPods. But since the price is €140 (before tax), and they’d probably be getting the music for free anyway, that’s €140 more to the rightsholders than nothing.
For Western users, the significance of the deal is that the CwM service is extended to a couple of new ranges, the 6700s consumer handset, and the E72i business device.
Such is the level of unlicensed music downloads, Google operates a free ad-supported MP3 download service in China with the majors' blessing.
Ed Peto’s fascinating account of music in China, a couple of years old, is still worth a read. ®