Feeds

Nokia: Keep the music, pay to burn

Reinventing the bundle?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Those gotchas in full

The devil, as ever, is in the details, so here's one that escaped first-day reports.

Intriguingly, Nokia is seeking to make a little extra money from this great music giveaway by charging for usage rights. One of those extras is the "right" to burn music to a CD. No fee has been set for this right yet - we're still a long way from launch in the second half of 2008.

A few years ago, we thought DRM was a format scam: a way for the music business to get us to buy music we already owned in a different format, like the transition from vinyl to CD. Is it now thinking of charging for usage rights we already have?

Probably not.

A source close to the deal was keen to point out, however, that the trend is to inexorably move away from DRM. The market has spoken: take-up of DRM-encumbered music services is sketchy. Amazon has already made a big impact by selling DRM-free music. If Universal and other labels are banking on technologically-enforced restrictions as the basis for new tiered-service business models, then that window will close fairly shortly.

Another drawback is that it's limited to one PC plus one device, and the device is going to be one that Nokia decides is fit for purpose. Today, only three phones support the Nokia Music Store, and only support it to varying degrees, but it's still early days.

Omnifone yesterday put a brave face on the announcement, but it can take comfort from the fact it offers a broader service with greater reach. MusicStation runs on 70 per cent of new mobiles.

"We are delighted to hear Nokia intends to embrace and develop its own version of the unlimited music download model, which we launched back in February 2007," said Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis in a statement. Omnifone also reminded everyone that it offers music from all four major labels, not just from Universal. "There is no doubt carriers will want to ensure... that these services are delivered on the widest range of handsets possible so that data networks are monetised as effectively as possible, and consumers can have as much freedom as possible when choosing a device."

Lewis was reminding carriers that Nokia and UMG are cutting them out of the loop.

Selling an abstraction like freedom is hard though, and Omnifone will be aware that if network operators don't absorb the cost of MusicStation, customers can turn to free, legal licensed music. That, Omnifone seems to be suggesting, is a price they may have to pay in the short-term, in order to gain long-term value.

There's no denying that the Nokia UMG deal sets an important precedent: we expect music to appear free. Now they're prepared to offer it for free. That's not an enviable position for any business to be in, but that's the price that sound recording owners are paying for not facing up to the challenge of digital networks ten years ago.

Interesting times lie ahead. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.