Nokia to drop Comes With Music in most countries
Nokia on Monday faced a symbolic embarrassment in its media strategy as it said it would drop Ovi Music Unlimited in 27 of its 33 countries. The bundled music plan, originally known as Comes With Music, will disappear from the UK and most of its major countries once subscriptions run out. The company wouldn't fully elaborate on what triggered the shutdown but partly blamed it on the Windows Media copy protection labels wanted for the service to work.
Apple Ringback Tone Rumor
Apple hopes to make a major push into mobile music in time with the launch of the 3G iPhone, say sources speaking with the New York Times. In addition to expanding the number of songs that qualify as ringtones, the company allegedly hopes to introduce ringback tones that play in place of the typical dial tone. Apple also wants to overcome earlier limits and start selling iTunes songs over cellular networks rather than limiting access to Wi-Fi connections, according to cited music label officials.
Warner on Flat Music Fee
Warner Music Group has revealed that it's in the midst of developing an organization that it hopes will turn around mounting losses at traditional music labels. Headed by former Geffen label head Jim Griffin, the unnamed effort would take the concepts behind Universal's Total Music to a more label-independent format. Rather than send music to one label, customers of the service would see a fee for unlimited music downloads bundled into the cost of the Internet service that would be used for a general money pool; the money would then be distributed across all labels to compensate both themselves and the artists as they see fit.
US DoJ inquiry, Universal
Universal's Total Music service is the subject of Federal inquiry after the US Justice Department sent a letter to the Universal Music Group requesting information about the planned service. Yahoo News reports that this follows a similar letter obtained by Sony BMG – neither label would comment, and letters sent to the Justice Department went unanswered.