Imagine this: you buy a phone and it comes with 4 million songs for you to download for free for a year – via your PC or your Nokia phone. And you get to keep all the tracks even after the service period is over.
It is not a question if what Nokia is attempting to do is revolutionary. It simply is. No doubt about it. The questions are: Is this a step towards revitalizing a dying music industry that the existing business model is unable to cope with the way the mass public consumes music? And more importantly, what is it in for Nokia and what is it in for you and I?
October last year, I had the privilege to attend the Nokia Remix event when the upcoming Nokia model 5800 XpressMusic was announced. Last Friday, I have attended the media launch event of “Comes With Music”, had the opportunity to try out the phone one more time and find out more from the Nokia team on this new service. In part one of this blog entry, you will get to read more on what this service is about. And in part two that I will publish next, you will get to read my personal take on the impact of this new service in a larger scheme of work.
Comes With Music and the New Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
The new Nokia 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone is awesome. I will not repeat what I have experienced last October. What I did try out last Friday though was the browser capability. Intuitively, I touched the screen, moved my thumb up and down and the web page was scrolled accordingly. Neat. I tried double clicking onto the page and it zoomed right in. Very cool! All by intuition. I could zoom in and out smoothly via a side bar too. In case if you wonder from the pictures below what kinky video I was watching, it was nothing R rated. I opened up YouTube and watched one of the videos from my favorite French artist Mylene Farmer. When I double clicked onto the video, the player went into full screen mode. I may consider an unlimited mobile data plan if I have one of these hot babies.
OK. Some pictures to show taken during the event. The band All American Rejects was in the house, our local DJ team The Muttons was in the house, the event was held at Velvet Underground, and many were queuing outside for the band to perform live!
Below are some key facts about the new service “Comes With Music”.
- Selected Nokia phone models including the new 5800 XpressMusic literally comes with music. You can download any of the 4 million tracks from the Nokia Store for free for a year. And you get to keep all that you have downloaded via your PC or your mobile devices.
- Nokia is yet to announce what the service fee for subsequent years is going to be. I am not sure how often people upgrade their wireless phones. Personally I hope that Nokia will take this into consideration when they create a service model for “Comes With Music”.
- You can only listen to the music downloaded via your PC or your wireless phone. I asked: what if I upgrade my PC? According to Nokia, I can deactivate my old PC and then active my new PC. Pretty much like the DRM (digital right management) model that the gaming industry has adopted. DRM doesn’t go too well with the legitimate paying gamers. “Comes With Music” is an interesting case because of the shear amount of songs you can potentially download over the service period that come with the phone. But if “Comes With Music” comes with a price after the first year, it all depends how much it would cost to justify the inconvenience.
- No, you can’t burn the music onto the CD. Again, you are not paying a lot for that 4 million song list at least for the first year.
- What if I need to upgrade my PC after my “Comes With Music” service period is over? I was told that there is quite a long grace period. You can still transfer your downloaded tracks from one machine to another.
- Which are the music giants on board “Comes With Music”? EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music, as well as Asian independent labels.
Closing Note and Coming Next
Now you have read what “Comes With Music” is as well as get to hear more about the new Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. I am a passionate music listener and I have had the opportunity to talk with many on the current situation the music industry is facing. I get to have a better appreciation on what are the different types of listeners out there and their preferred mode of music delivery. In part two of this blog entry, I will share more on my take on how brilliant Nokia’s move is going up against the successful Apple iTune and its products by defining their own rules and what are the implications.
When Cynthia read the advertisements on the Saturday papers, she got very excited by the new Nokia touchscreen phone that comes with music. And she asked, “So I can download the entire album of Pussycat Dolls for free?” I smiled and replied, “Not only that, you have 4 million songs to choose from!” I looked at the pricing of a new “Comes With Music” Nokia phone and it doesn’t seem excessive. For what it is worth, you can think of paying a nominal amount that is factored into the price of a phone and that opens up a world of music for you to listen to, a freedom that now you can legally experience.
As you may have noticed by now that I always love to write a small thank you notes on most of the events I have attended. It is because what I usually enjoy most is the people I come to interact with, time and time again. So, cheers to the Nokia team especially to the one who was so patiently showcasing the new phone to me last October and again showed me what else 5800 can do last Friday. And of course to the lovely Text100 team, thanks for the chat and the little walk around at the stage area. Yes, one day our band would be there and I will get your help!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 2.