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Nokia lands Warner for Comes With Music

updated 10:45 pm EDT, Mon June 30, 2008

Warner on Comes With Music

Nokia tonight signed on Warner Music Group to its Comes With Music unlimited subscription service, joining founding partner Universal and recent entrant Sony BMG in offering its back catalog. The deal lets users buy phones with a Comes With Music premium attached and download an unlimited amount of Warner's music (or of any other label) for a year; all tracks downloaded during that time are the user's to keep, addressing a common complaint regarding most subscription plans.

An agreement with Warner is considered a tipping point for Nokia's plan, as it gives the cellphone maker the lion's share of major-label music and puts it into better competition against traditional music stores for phones, which are either a la carte downloads per song or else subscriptions that are typically more expensive in one year than Comes With Music.

The lone remaining major yet to sign on, EMI, is said to be in discussions.

Labels have been counting on Comes With Music as a solution to rapidly tumbling conventional sales as well as an attempt to find an alternative to conventional stores such as iTunes, which Universal has said imposes "golden handcuffs" on music publishers by forcing them to agree to Apple's licensing and pricing methods to remain successful.

Nokia's plan has been criticized for still allowing copy protection for permanent tracks and for favoring major labels over independents.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    that's the ticket!

    We need to figure out a way to trick our customers into slipping on copper handcuffs so they can slip out of their own 'golden' handcuffs. This isn't giving the customers what they want, it's telling the customers we're giving them what they want, but we're really not. We'll say "unlimited", but it's really "limited to a few songs each month".

    And the music is probably DRM'ed to the phone...

    And when is this crappy system supposed to launch?

    They keep pumping out these fluff press-releases, but they still never really tell people exactly how the system will work...They know how the system will work [as the labels would never sign if they did not have this in writing], and they know it's not how they're trying to sell it to us, but I guess they're trying to keep the negative PR down until after they release this service?

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