Nokia virtual music stores in India soon

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 15:20 by Tech Correspondent

Nokia plans to open virtual music stores in India and is in talks with music content providers and several music companies including Sony BMG, Warner Bros, and Universal Music.

Mr. Chandan Dang, Nokia India Regional General Manager (North), said that the Finnish giant is joining hands with around 150 music companies.

Nokia will provide a free one-year subscription to all its customers with the purchase of music compatible handsets operating on Symbian S-60 operating system.

Mr. Dang said, “We are planning to launch the services in the first half of this year. Our similar service in the United Kingdom launched on 5310Xpress music device is evincing good response from music lovers.”

He said that the format in India may be different than the one in UK as preferences of Indians are different from the English.

“Also, unlike the UK, in India the service should be made compatible on low-end handsets for a better click with Indian customers. The service will also help in boosting the handset sales,” Mr. Dang added.

The company has said that consumers can download music on their mobile phones and PCs, and store unlimited songs even after the expiry of the subscription.

The Nokia music store features tracks four major record labels but the restrictive Digital right management (DRM) prevents the music to be shared with another digital music player.

Nokia is working on removing the DRM from the music that is available via its ‘Comes with Music‘ service.

The ‘Comes with Music’ service is available on very few handsets, such as the Nokia Xpress Music 5230.

The ‘Comes with Music’ service enables users to download free songs for an year after buying a music compatible Nokia handset. The users can keep the music after the end of one year.

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