updated 12:30 pm EDT, Tue August 8, 2006
Nokia Buys Loudeye
Lately we've seen a gradually building momentum in the cellphone industry: more and more companies are convinced that an entire music ecosystem can be built around cellphones, one in which you never have to touch a computer (or digital audio player) to get and play back the music you want. The most recent company to throw its hat into the ring is Nokia. This morning, the Finnish brand said it would buy Loudeye, best-known for the OD2 subsidiary that handles the behind-the-scenes infrastructure behind many music stores outside of North America (including the former MyCokeMusic). The obvious conclusion is that Nokia wants to setup its own online store to sell music to cellphone users. This may prove difficult: while phones like the N-series can certainly handle music, the direct-download stores that exist are usually linked to service providers rather than phone brands. Nokia may have to open its stores to non-Nokia phones if it wants maximum exposure, since it's doubtful that carriers like Verizon will allow Nokia's store and their own to coexist on the same phone.