updated 07:35 am EDT, Tue September 2, 2008
Comes With Music UK
Nokia this morning provided some of the earliest launch details for its long-delayed Comes With Music service, its cooperative attempt at changing the business model for mobile music. The feature will first launch as an exclusive for UK cellphone retailer Carphone Warehouse and will first be available only through a Comes With Music edition of Nokia's 5310 XpressMusic; customers will pay extra for the phone itself but receive a year's worth of unlimited Windows Media-formatted music downloads that they can keep even if they choose not to renew.
The Finnish cellphone maker again declines to provide specific launch details but explains that Carphone Warehouse will be the exclusive source for prepaid versions of the modified 5310 in the UK until the end of 2008; fuller details of the launch will be made public through a special event in early October.
Comes With Music was first proposed by music label Universal in December 2007 as an attempt to evade traditional pay-per-download and subscription models for music; the company has grown frustrated with an inability to dictate pricing at online stores such as iTunes and has seen little return on monthly subscription services, which were some of the earliest forms of legal online music.
The label has since earned support from Sony and Warner but has yet to earn any endorsement from EMI or smaller independent labels, reducing the total available catalog. Nokia also originally hinted that it would make Comes With Music available on high-end phones but has yet to follow through on this plan.