The world’s top cellphone maker, Nokia, is ending its bundling of free music downloads with cellphones in 27 countries (out of 33), where it has gained little traction since its 2008 launch.
Reuters reported that Nokia will continue to sell phones with 12-month subscription to free music downloads in China, India and Indonesia and with 6-month subscriptions in Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.
Current customers in 27 countries(including Malaysia) with the free music download service can continue using the service until it expires but won’t be able to renew the subscription. Customers will also be able to keep the music they have downloaded but it will continue to be DRM-protected. DRM limits the sharing of songs between different devices.
Nokia first launched its “Comes With Music” service in 2008, as a rival service to Apple’s iPhone and iTunes offerings. The service was then moved to the Ovi brand. The latest developments look to have confirmed that it has failed in its effort to popularise the service.
“The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service,” said a spokesman for Nokia, adding the firm continues to offer DRM-free tracks through its Ovi music store in 38 countries.